New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced Citi Bike is expected to create 170 jobs and generate $36 million in local economic activity annually. NYC Bike Share (NYCBS) has worked with a wide range of community and local employment organizations to recruit New Yorkers for positions from station assemblers to bicycle mechanics to customer call-center staff. These new hires will support the operation of 6,000 Citi Bikes at 330 stations in the initial service area, which includes streets south of 59th Street in Manhattan and adjacent neighborhoods in Brooklyn. These 170 permanent positions will contribute an estimated $36 million to New York City’s economy each year as wages are spent and invested locally. When the system expands to 10,000 bikes, Citi Bike is expected to fill dozens more permanent positions, with all jobs paying competitive hourly wages. The system is supported without taxpayer subsidy by $41 million in sponsorship from Citi, $6.5 million from MasterCard and financing from the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. NYCBS is using the Goldman Sachs financing to purchase the equipment, stations and other ongoing capital requirements.
“Even before New Yorkers kick the tires of the Citi Bike fleet, bike share is kick-starting employment with jobs for New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Citi Bike will help New Yorkers reach their destinations quickly and make more neighborhoods, businesses and jobs more accessible.”
“Citi Bike will help move people and our economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “Citi Bike will encourage expansion of tourism and patronage of neighborhood businesses across the city, without the hassle of car traffic and parking.”
“Citi Bike will offer New Yorkers an affordable way to get around today and contributes to the green-collar job base of tomorrow,” said Dan Cantor, Executive Director of New York’s Working Families Party. “It’s a new sector based on New York’s strength as a growing biking city, and today every job matters.”
“We are proud to support this small business which will employ 170 people and encourage safe and healthy bike-ridership in neighborhoods from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Lower Manhattan,” said Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “This important partnership between the private sector and the Department of Transportation represents the largest privately financed bike share program in the world.”
To support Citi Bike, NYCBS recently leased more than 39,000 square feet of space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The site will serve as the bike-share system’s main facility and headquarters, with dedicated space for repairing the bicycles and a call center for Citi Bike-user support. The company also currently rents a 77,000-square-foot warehouse with another 43,000 square feet of lots in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where components are being assembled into stations ready for deployment on city streets. NYCBS already has hired 170 employees to assist with the system’s roll out and related operations. Areas of responsibility include community outreach, bicycle assembly and maintenance, station and IT technology, and administration, management and finance.
“Not only does Citi Bike offer New Yorkers a fun and healthy way to get around, it is also providing a boost to our local economy,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “I am excited about the launch of Citi Bike and equally excited that the working people and small businesses of New York City will benefit as well.”
“The Citi Bike program is changing how we look at transportation in Brooklyn,” said Council Member Letitia James. “In addition to the health benefits associated with biking and the decrease of vehicular traffic, the program is expected to strengthen local business and create jobs throughout New York. This is truly an exciting program, and I thank Commissioner Sadik-Khan for bringing Citi Bike to Brooklyn.”
The finding that nearly $36 million will be generated annually by the company’s first 170 jobs is from a New York City Economic Development Corporation analysis of how Citi Bike salaries, wages and purchases stimulate economic activity in New York City, based on factors developed by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In addition to job creation, Citi Bike’s launch shows promise in enhancing the local economies of the neighborhoods it serves. DOT’s Measuring the Street report, issued this fall, documented the significant impact transit improvements and better street designs can have on real estate values and local economies. Select Bus Service along First and Second Avenues in Manhattan, for example, showed 47% fewer commercial vacancies following implementation compared to boroughwide data. Along Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue, the site of DOT’s and country’s first protected bike path, retailers saw up to a 49% increase in sales versus other locally based businesses throughout the borough.