The project has been in the works for a year, ever since Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop bowed out of a regional bike sharing network with Hoboken and Weehawken. Since then, delays plagued the program, which has not had a clear launch date until this past week.
Last month, Mayor Fulop announced Citigroup Inc. as the title sponsor for the bike share, in addition to four other founding sponsors: the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, SUEZ North America, CarePoint Health and Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health. The program will be the first Citi Bike expansion beyond New York borders, crossing the Hudson before it reaches Staten Island or the Bronx. Citi Bike Jersey City members will be able to take advantage of the extensive New York City system–and vice versa for New York members.
Citi Bike Jersey City will offer 350 bikes at 35 stations in just about every neighborhood. Mayor Fulop emphasized residents’ accessibility over station density when planning bike docking locations. Station density has been a concern for New York’s Citi Bike expansion and is considered crucial to a bike-share’s success.
Jersey City is the second most populous city in the state–and it’s growing. There is certainly a market for bike share: 38.6 percent of occupied housing don’t own cars, a figure comparable to Boston and Washington, which also have bike share programs. Jersey City already boasts the second highest public transit ridership in the nation and has added 22 miles of bike lanes since 2013.