NYC’s Citi Bike is aiming to make the already safe bike sharing scheme (nearly 37 million trips since the system’s installation in 2013 and zero fatalities) even safer by installing laser safety lights that project a bright green bicycle outline 20 feet ahead, making bicyclists more visible to drivers and pedestrians at night. The Laserlights from UK company Blaze will be piloted on 250 bikes by mid-March. If funding is secured, all 6,000 bikes at 603 stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City will be equipped with the laser safety lights by the end of this year.
“By incorporating Blaze’s lights into the bike, we aim to keep New Yorkers on foot, behind the wheel and riding a Citi Bike safer and to improve the rider experience overall so that people of all backgrounds are inspired to try New York City’s popular bike share program,” said Jay Walder, President & CEO of Motivate, operators of the Citi Bike program. “Bike share is an extremely safe way to get around, and we are proud to work with Blaze to welcome every rider to Citi Bike while helping our city get ever closer to our Vision Zero goals.”
Transport for London successfully trialed the Laserlights on the city’s Santander Cycles bike sharing scheme last year, eventually adding the lights to all 11,500 of its bikes. A study found that Laserlights made the bikes up to 30 percent more visible to trucks, buses and vans. London bus drivers surveyed said the lights helped make it easier for them to see and react to bikers at night and 75 percent of bicyclists reported feeling more confident biking at night with the safety lights.
Other safety features on Citi Bike for night riding include reflectors and self-powered LED lights at the front and rear of the bike. The LED lights turn on automatically and flash when the bike is in motion.