May 23, 2023
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NYC DOT, NYPD, Staten Island FerryHawks, and Bike New York Partner to Donate Bikes to Underserved Communities
Bike Month event builds upon other bike-related outreach and giveaways throughout the spring and summer
Staten Islanders from underserved communities in the borough as well as persons seeking asylum will receive the donated/refurbished bicycles
New York — New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced that NYC DOT will partner with the NYPD and community partners to distribute 60 donated and refurbished bicycles to adults and youth from underserved communities on Staten Island and recently arrived asylum seekers. NYC DOT First Deputy Commissioner Margaret Forgione, NYC DOT Executive Deputy Commissioner Paul Ochoa, and officials from Bike New York, the NYPD, Project Hospitality, El Centro Del Inmigrante, and the Staten Island FerryHawks will present the bikes before tonight's game between the FerryHawks and the Long Island Ducks.
This event is part of NYC DOT's celebration of Bike Month and its spring and summer bike outreach efforts, which also includes bike light giveaways, helmet fittings, delivery cyclist safety trainings, and multi-faceted Bike Bonanzas.
"Baseball season is in full swing and so is the New York City Department of Transportation's celebration of Bike Month," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Working with our partners to put dozens of refurbished bikes into the hands of underserved Staten Islanders is a rewarding way to bring the Bike Month spirit to the island."
NYC DOT, Bike New York, and the FerryHawks sponsored two events in January on the North and South Shores allowing Staten Islanders to donate bikes for all ages and in all conditions. Bike New York then spent the next few months refurbishing the bikes and making any necessary repairs. Those who donated bikes were given a free FerryHawks game ticket for each donated bike.
The NYPD Borough Command asked its four local precincts to identify underserved communities in their commands and individuals who would benefit from a newly refurbished bike. Residents from each of the communities were on hand today to receive the bikes outside the stadium, alongside the local precinct commanders.
Project Hospitality has served Staten Island for over 30 years, providing soups kitchens, food pantries, your programs, domestic violence intervention and so many other services to help those in need. As asylum seekers arrive in New York City in high numbers, Project Hospitality is of course at the forefront offering a helping hand on this initiative to see that a third of the donated bicycles were given to El Centro Del Inmigrante to get to those who could use the refurbished bikes for work, transportation, or recreation.
"We applaud all the Staten Islanders who generously donated their old bikes so they could be refurbished and given to their neighbors in underserved communities," said Ken Podziba, President and CEO of Bike New York. "This program, spearheaded by the NYC Department of Transportation, will transform the lives of our city's newest bike owners and enable them to experience the joy of getting around town in the best possible way: on two wheels. Thank you to DOT, FerryHawks, NYPD, and all the community partners whose contributions made this great day happen."
"Being a contributing part of this community is a core FerryHawk value for John Catsimatidis and myself," said Staten Island FerryHawks President Eric Shuffler. "Working with DOT and the NYPD to help get these bicycles into the hands of Staten Islanders who want and need them was great - we look forward to doing more."
"DOT Commissioner Rodriquez has taken to heart the vision of transportation as a tool of equity for underserved, underrepresented and low wage workers," said Project Hospitality President/CEO Reverend Dr. Terry Troia. "This bicycle refurbishing initiative is a healthy way to help people who do not have driver licenses and cannot afford a car to bike to work. DOT's new initiative creates safe transportation to work, to school, to shopping and to key services for low-income workers who, like everyone else need to pay the rent and feed their families. We are grateful for this demonstration of Transportation Equity Vision-in-Action."
"El Centro Del Inmigrante has served the immigrant and working communities on Staten Island for over 25 years," said El Centro Del Inmigrante Co-Executive Director Andrés García. "Seeing the city recognize the importance of investing in underserved communities like ours is a hallmark of growth and equity. We hope to see this support grow as our community grows. With more support, all asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants are welcome to El Centro."