Yesterday, Time Out New York reported that Mayor Bill de Blasio had instituted an 11pm curfew for New York City in an attempt to curb lootings that took place, particularly throughout lower Manhattan. Tonight, the mayor has announced that curfew will be even earlier at 8pm. But as the New York Times reported earlier today, the curfew has done little to fix the issue—and in some cases, such as with transportation, it contributed to additional challenges for peaceful New Yorkers protesting the injustice of police brutality last night. At 10:35pm, Citi Bike posted to Twitter, writing, "As directed by the @NYCMayorsOffice, we are temporarily shutting down service tonight, restarting as soon as curfew is listed at 5am." Tonight, Citi Bike will also have to shut off service, this time starting at 8am. See below for official statements.
As directed by @NYCMayorsOffice, we are temporarily shutting down service tonight, restarting as soon as curfew is lifted at 5am.— Citi Bike (@CitiBikeNYC) June 2, 2020
We know NYC is hurting right now. We’re still discussing options for providing service during curfew hours and will share more when we can.
The notice came less than 30 minutes shy of the curfew, which gave little to no notice to people protesting who were looking for ways to get home—and potentially put them in jeopardy with law enforcement or even safely getting home. There were reports on social media and a few people Time Out New York reached out to that confirmed Lyft (which owns Citi Bike) and Uber drivers would not pick up protestors near Barclays Center.
But these transportation halts do not only affect protestors looking for a safe way to get home—during the pandemic, many New Yorkers feel biking as the safest way to get between Point A and Point B. The lack of Citi Bike access has the potential to affect essential workers of all stripes: doctors, bodega workers, delivery personnel and sanitation workers, among many others.
Citi Bike further wrote, "We know NYC is hurting right now. We're still discussing options for providing service during curfew hours and will share more when we can."
Then at midnight, an hour after curfew, the team posted to Twitter again:
Although the system is now shut down to new rentals, anyone with a current rental is able to return their bike to a station. If you don't see an open dock at a station when you arrive, you can use the kiosk screen to find available docks at nearby stations.— Citi Bike (@CitiBikeNYC) June 2, 2020
The request to temporarily halt Citi Bike service in connection with the curfew seems ironic given the mayor's recent remarks about the important of its service. Citi Bike had just announced that it would provide free service to those essential workers fighting COVID-19. “Our frontline workers are sacrificing so much to help and protect their fellow New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank Lyft for stepping up and helping us fight this pandemic by providing the employees on the front line with a safe, free ride to work.” Many bike dock stations are located near hospitals.
As of today, Revel scooters announced it would be shutting down service at 8pm tonight as it did per curfew, last night at 11pm.
Starting tonight, we’ll be shutting down our service in line with curfews in NYC and Oakland:— Revel (@_GoRevel) June 2, 2020
NYC | 8 PM - 5 AM
Oakland | 8 PM - 5 AM
You’ll be able to end your ride after these times, but won’t be able to start a new ride. Our DC service is fully shut down per the city.
Tonight, Citi Bike will also pause service at 8pm.
We have been working with @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCDOT all day, hoping that we could avoid another shutdown. Unfortunately, we were just informed that we are required to shut down tonight, starting at 8pm for curfew.— Citi Bike (@CitiBikeNYC) June 2, 2020