BROOKLYN - News 12 Brooklyn is counting down the top stories of the borough of 2013 as voted by our viewers. Coming in at No. 9 is one of the most noticeable changes in the borough in the last year--the hundreds of blue Citi Bikes taking to the roads in recent months.
The Citi Bike program rolled out in May, and was the result of an effort to get more New Yorkers on two wheels instead of four.
The service was successful in cities like Washington, D.C., London and Paris. But skepticism of the blue bikes came in Brooklyn neighborhoods as docking stations popped up. Residents took issue with commercialism and the loss of prime street space. Early users also found technical problems and had trouble undocking the bikes.
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But by November, city leaders were claiming success, saying more than 430,000 people had purchased access passes, and bikes logging more than five million trips.
There are 6,000 bikes and 330 stations in the Citi Bike system so far. Plans to expand the program are underway, keeping New Yorkers pedaling for years to come.