12 Things to Know Before Using NYC’s New Citi Bike Share Program
1. GET THE CITI BIKE APP
If you have a smartphone, you can make your Citi Bike experience a whole lot better by downloading the free Citi Bike app here. Once it’s on your phone, you’ll be able to use the app to locate the nearest Citi Bike stations and see how many bikes and docks are available at each one. Other available tools include a bike lane and route finder, a timer and a bike shop locator. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can also locate the stations nearest you using this online map.
2. HOW TO UNDOCK A BIKE
– If you’re an annual Citi Bike member ($95 per year), use the member key you received in the mail to unlock a Citi Bike (you’ll need to activate it first by logging in here and clicking “Activate Your Bike Key”). Once your key is activated, walk up to the bike you want and insert your key into the slot on the lefthand side of the dock. Wait until the light turns green and then lift and pull the bike by the seat out of the dock. The trick is to use a gentle lifting motion instead of trying to yank the bike out.
– If you aren’t a member but want to buy a daily of weekly pass ($9.95 for a 24-Hour Access Pass or $25 for a 7-Day Access Pass), walk up to a Citi Bike kiosk that has available bikes and hit “Get a Bike.” Then follow the onscreen instructions to get your 5-digit ride code printed out on your receipt. Then choose the bike you want and enter your 5-digit ride code (you’ll have five minutes to enter the code into the keypad to release a bike). Wait until the light turns green and then lift and pull the bike by the seat out of the dock. The trick is to use a gentle lifting motion instead of trying to yank the bike out.
3. CHECK BEFORE YOU RIDE
Before you ride off into the sun, it’s a good idea to check your Citi Bike out to make sure it’s in good shape. While the bikes are pretty easy to return if there’s something wrong with them, you can save yourself the headache of being in between stations when you discover something isn’t working properly by doing a quick check before you start riding.
Here’s a checklist of what to look out for:
Wheels: Lift up each wheel spin it slowly to make sure it spins freely and doesn’t rub against the brake pads or wobble.
Tires: Push each tire down hard against the ground to make sure it’s not flat. Also check for cuts, bulges or bubbles.
Brakes: Squeeze both brake levers to check that the brakes are functional.
If you find anything wrong with your bike, lock it back into a dock and press the wrench button to indicate that it needs servicing.
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