Citi Bike Unveils First 200 Pedal-Assist Bikes to Help Commuters Deal With L Train Shutdown

Photo: NYC DOT.

Photo: NYC DOT.

Citi Bike yesterday began rolling out the first batch of new pedal-assist electric bicycles meant to soften the blow of the looming L Train shutdown.

To start, there will be 200 electric bikes. When the L Train tunnel closes next spring, the electric bike fleet will increase to 1,000.

Right now, about 7,500 bicyclists use the Williamsburg Bridge daily. That number is expected to rise dramatically during the 15-month shutdown, even without the addition of the pedal-assist Citi Bikes.

According to a press release from the mayor’s office, Citi Bike will, “designate four conveniently-located pedal-assist docking stations — two in Williamsburg and two in lower Manhattan for their exclusive use.”

The new bikes will allow riders to travel at speeds up to 18 mph. On the Citi Bike app, you’ll be able to identify available electric bikes by looking for a lightning bolt logo. More details here.

City officials took the bikes for a spin over the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday.