The nation's most heavily used bike sharing program is about to get an overhaul.
Motivate, the Brooklyn-based company that now operates Citi Bike, announced Monday that it is making big changes to the Citi Bike system in time for summer.
The system will also undergo a major expansion later this year that will double the number of bikes and stations by 2017.
Motivate says improvements are being made to the software that runs the system, as well as to bikes and stations.
The goal of the overhaul is to make the overall experience more seamless and user-friendly, and to improve the quality of stations and bikes.
“New Yorkers love Citi Bike despite the fact that the system wasn’t really built to handle the demands of this city,” Jay Walder, Chief Executive Officer of Motivate, said in a statement.
“This work will help us to position Citi Bike to not only deliver better service, but to live up to its potential as a truly vital part of our city’s transportation network.”
Motivate acquired Citi Bike in October and since then has been addressing frustrations with the popular bike sharing service.
This past weekend the software that powers the bike share system was replaced in a move that Motivate says lays the groundwork for upcoming improvements to stations and bikes.
All Citi Bike stations -- made up of some 12,000 docks in the city -- are getting new docking technology, as well as new kiosk software and screens. This includes green lights at docks that will confirm a ride has ended.
The Citi Bike mobile app, which lets riders know where available bikes and bike docks are, is also getting revamped. The changes will give riders information about bikes and docks in real time and will make it easier for Citi Bike staff to locate bikes and docks in need of repair.
The bikes themselves are getting a makeover too. More than 4,250 bikes have already been overhauled, according to Motivate. The entire fleet of 6,000 bikes will be finished before summer, the season when the system sees its peak ridership.
The expansion happening later this year will bring the number of stations from 332 to 700 and the number of bikes from 6,000 to 12,000. It will also make Citi Bike available in Harlem and Queens for the first time and expand locations further into Brooklyn.