Cycle maker working to share his bikes with city
Daily News 02/08/2011
By Lisa L. Colangelo
A CENTURY-old bicycle manufacturer in Ozone Park is hoping city officials think locally when they seal the deal on a new bike-sharing program.
Worksman Cycles, which has built bikes for similar programs around the country, is the perfect choice for the program, said company President Wayne Sosin.
“Our bikes are reliable and durable,” he said yesterday. “They are made of heavier gauge steel. We’re not about light and fancy.”
The Department of Transportation is soliciting proposals from companies interested in starting a bike-sharing program for a five-year period starting in 2012.
It’s designed to boost alternate, environmentally friendly transportation to ease congestion and pollution around the city.
The agency did not specify how many bikes would be available but said the program should “provide secure and convenient bicycles on a 24-hour basis at a publicly accessible price.”
There are no set geographic boundaries, but the city’s research shows it could be successful in Manhattan, south of 60th St. And DOT officials said they would like the program to include more than one borough.
Sosin said Worksman is not equipped to run the program but would be interested in supplying bikes for the operator.
“One of the main reasons for any bike-sharing program is sustainability,” said Sosin. “It’s also sustainable if the bicycles come locally.”
State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) and other elected officials said they hope the city can include Worksman in the program.
“The city would be able to say it’s the only one in the country to do this kind of program and keep it in-house,” Addabbo said. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 16.
Worksman builds specialty cycles and heavy-duty tricycles used in factories. In recent years, keepers at the Queens Zoo ditched their powered carts for Worksman cycles, and the Queens Botanical Garden is set to start using them in the spring.