Beryl Bikes Staten Island

An update on our delayed launch on Staten Island

While we were well on the way with preparations to launch Beryl Bikes on Staten island in April of this year- the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic has meant we have had to delay the launch. However, both Beryl and the Department of Transport remain committed to launching the service for Staten Islanders and visitors to enjoy ‘the rock’ by bike.

The pandemic has meant delivery of vehicles and the mobilisation of the scheme in the spring was operationally impossible. At present, many key team members for the mobilisation are unable to enter the US.  Beryl are working closely with the DoT, alongside our local operations partner, and the multiple community partners established over the past few months to ensure the service is set up as soon as possible. 

Phils CEO & Cofounder of Beryl Bikes said:

“April 2020 was the ideal launch date for us, allowing us to deliver the first roll out in the spring, making the most of good weather and great community events. Unfortunately, we were impacted by the global pandemic, making it operationally impossible to bring the bikes to the rock. We’re now looking to share a revised date later this year, meanwhile, we’re working to provide a bigger and better service as a result of this delay”

During the pandemic, cycling has become a key transport option for many. We know that bringing this option to Staten Islanders as soon as we can is incredibly important. We know Staten Island can be #BetterbyBike and are committed to providing a service that is equitable, accessible and ultimately enjoyable for the community. 

Launch plans had included an Earth day event on the CSI/CUNY campus, followed by the official launch of the service a few days later at the Tour de Staten Island, a local cycling event with advocacy group - Transportation Alternatives. 

“Now more than ever, New Yorkers are demanding transportation options that are safe, equitable and compliant with physical distancing guidelines,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris.“The launch of Beryl bike share on Staten Island, the only borough where driving is the dominant mode of transport, is an important step in providing Staten Island residents and visitors the power of choice in how they get around.”

Over the past few months, we’ve reached some incredible milestones on this side of the pond. We’ve introduced our Beryl e-Bikes into existing city services, supported essential workers with over 10,000 free rides, ridden to raise funds for local charity relief, kicked off our National #BetterByBike campaign and have even showcased our e-Scooter. We’re incredibly optimistic about the role of active transport around the globe as we come through this pandemic and look forward to ensuring Staten Island plays a key role in leading that change.

Although the launch on Staten Island was delayed, the significant groundwork and preparations that have already gone into the scheme still stand, and put us in a good position to hit the ground running. 

Here’s an overview of the work we’ve already done, and that we’ll continue as we work with the DOT to get going:

  • We’ve already begun the community engagement work we consider the cornerstone of a successful service. 
  • Beryl Bikes have a unique hybrid system that encourages riders to park responsibly with a geo-fenced bay-based service. Ahead of launch the process to scope locations for the bays, including engagement with the local community around these locations has already been underway. This work continues through this period and may eventually support a wider roll out in the first phase. 
  • Beryl has connected with the local Community Boards and planned to attend and present at meets that were subsequently cancelled. These will be rescheduled as needed. 
  • Beryl had several community activities and meets arranged ahead of launch and will be looking to re-schedule each as soon as regulations allow and it’s safe for everyone to do so.

With all activities on the ground paused, we’ve continued to advance plans from afar:

  • We’ve continued engagement with local advocacy groups, and recently participated in the panel on the ‘What’s next for our streets’ webinar series from Transportation Alternatives, where we discussed “The ways in which our cities must think creatively about mobility in the post-pandemic future”.
  • Operations work is ongoing to ensure an effective roll-out of bays and bikes
  • We’re in close and consistent communication with the DOT to monitor the unfolding situation and agree on a new launch date ASAP. 

We’ll be updating as we learn more and endeavour to keep everybody updated on the official launch date as soon as we can!

Georgia Yexley - Head of Growth