The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and city Department of Transportation (DOT) are indeed discussing the possibility of “expanding Citi Bike to the areas affected by the upcoming closures of the Greenpoint Tube of the G train” confirmed a MTA spokesperson Charles Seaton in an email to this publication.
However, while “everything is still under discussion,” the news comes as a small ray of hope for North Brooklyn commuters who were worried that the impending weekend-long closures would completely isolate them from the rest of the borough and city during select weekends from July 6 through December 15.
“As far as subways, it’s my only way to commute. [After Sandy], we were the last ones to get it back,” said Greenpoint resident Connor Mealey, who is also a member of the Riders Alliance.
“We all understand that the work needs to be done and this is the cost of running a 24-hour system and Sandy wasn’t expected, but we just need the MTA to find a better plan than they had last time,” Mealey added, noting that he and hundreds of other North Brooklyn residents ended up walking across the Pulaski Bridge every day.
Councilmember Stephen Levin first suggested the idea of bike share as an alternative public transport option in his response to the MTA’s June 5 news about the G and R train shutdowns, intended to facilitate post-Sandy tunnel repairs.
“The MTA should help alleviate the transportation woes of North Brooklyn residents by offering to fund CitiBike stations in Greenpoint and North Williamsburg and coordinate with the East River Ferry so that MetroCards can be used to travel to Manhattan from the India Street stop,” said Levin.
Assemblymember Joseph Lentol also noted that a petition had circulated through the neighborhood advocating for the bike option.