WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- New York City officials are looking to address the ongoing issue of bike thefts by adding a new type of bike storage system around the city.
A new system called the Oonee Mini was unveiled in Domino Park on Thursday morning. The locked, secure bike parking is free to users.
"Access to bicycle parking is the number two reason that people are afraid to have bikes and move throughout the city," said NYC Mayor-elect Eric Adams.
No one has the money to throw away -- nor can they afford to be inconvenienced -- if their only way to get around town is on a bike and it keeps getting stolen.
"Many of those at risk are deliverymen who use and utilize their bikes to deliver food, it's their way of living," Adams said. "They lose their bikes, they lose their income in the process."
Enclosed bike storage could be the missing link in the equation.
"We can make sure that every New Yorker has access to green, sustainable transportation," said Oonee founder Shabazz Stuart.
The Department of Transportation already offers bike parking in corals, shelters or racks, but advocates argue it's not enough with the recent surge in bicycle ridership.
In 2020, there were 1.8 million trips, an increase of 33% from 2019.
"We know that most car trips in our city is under three miles," Stuart said. "And we know that converting those car trips to things like bicycles and scooters will help save our planet."
Oonee pods, larger units that hold 22 bikes, are already being used at Atlantic Terminal near the Barclays Center and in Jersey City. And another is being installed at Grand Central next month.
"The more infrastructure we build, the more people will use bikes in a real way," Adams said.
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