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Outer boroughs also want bike share program

A man checks out a Citi Bike from

A man checks out a Citi Bike from a bike share rack in Manhattan on the first day they are available to the public. (May 27, 2013) Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Outer borough leaders say the city needs to expand its popular Citi Bike program beyond Manhattan and Brooklyn and into their neighborhoods.

Thursday, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and other Queens leaders will rally outside City Hall to call on the Department of Transportation to increase the bike share program beyond its current stations in midtown, lower Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn.

Van Bramer, who represents Long Island City and Sunnyside, said there's huge demand from his constituents and New Yorkers from other neighborhoods.

"Long Island City is open for business and open to bike share and that extends to the rest of the city," he said.

Currently there are 6,000 bikes at 300 stations. Long Island City was going to be part of the initial rollout, but superstorm Sandy altered plans, Van Bramer said.

A DOT spokesman said the agency plans to roll out Citi Bike to Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Long Island City with 4,000 more bikes and twice the number of stations, but couldn't give a timetable.

Jeremy Laufer, district manager for Community Board 7, covering Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, said his community needs the program soon, especially with the upcoming R train service changes.

"People want additional options for transportation," he said.

The pro-bike sentiment in the outer boroughs is felt even in car-friendly Staten Island. Leticia Remauro, the chairwoman for the borough's Community Board 1, said Staten Islanders have constantly sent messages to the city expressing their interest. "What about us? Get it over here, quick. Why are we left out?" she asked.

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