TransAlt (Not The City) Is Bringing Secure Bike Parking to the Port Authority Bus Terminal

Transportation Alternatives will provide bike valet service at the Port Authority this spring. Photo: Asterisk611/Flickr
Transportation Alternatives will provide bike valet service at the Port Authority this spring. Photo: Asterisk611/Flickr

As the old (and honestly kinda messed-up) saying goes, the Lord helps those who help themselves.

Fresh off a January report about the crushing need for secure bike parking, Transportation Alternatives and friends will run a bike parking pilot program at the Port Authority Bus Terminal from next week to mid-June.

TA, Oonee and Green Mountain Energy will announce today that starting on April 19, cyclists looking to store their rides somewhere more protected than “locked on a pole somewhere” will be able to take advantage of secure bike parking at the Port Authority through June 18.

“Cycling has been more popular than ever during the past year, and we believe this pilot will demonstrate the real hunger New Yorkers have for a secure place to park their bikes,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “The pilot will be even more critical as more commuters begin returning to the office.”

For $3 a day, or $30 for a month, cyclists will be able to leave their bikes with a bike valet in a fenced-off area at the Port Authority’s north wing. Riders can drop off or pick up their bike between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m (and those who want to store a bike overnight can do that, too). Although the bike parking spot won’t be one of Oonee’s actual pods, the bike parking pod is helping out by ensuring that any bike delivery worker is allowed to store their rides for free at the bike parking hub.

“There are an estimated 80,000 delivery cyclists in New York City,” said Oonee founder Shabazz Stuart. “These mostly BIPOC folks work long hours for little pay. They bear the brunt of New York’s incomplete cycling infrastructure network. They help keep us fed while also keeping our restaurants afloat. They’re harassed by the police, targeted by robbers and ignored by officials. At Oonee, we feel that it’s past time for our city to begin delivering for them.”

The new program is yet another reminder that while Oonee and now TA are stepping up to house people’s bikes, the city has not gotten in the game. The de Blasio administration has said it will install 10,000 bike parking spots over the next two years, none constitutes secure bike parking. The Department of Transportation has not issued any new plans since its previously announced, and then canceled, idea to pilot secure bike parking in shipping containers in three locations.

For its part, the Port Authority said it was “pleased to provide a sustainable commute and peace of mind for cyclists and bus terminal users.”

“The agency continues to advocate for increased travel options and a better customer experience at all of its facilities,”said Diannae Ehler, the director of the Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals department.

Cyclists looking to sign up for the bike valet program can do so here. Delivery cyclists can sign up here.