Citi Bike just launched New York City’s first bike sharing program as 6,000 royal blue cruisers took to the streets of Manhattan! So far more than 10,000 people have signed up to use the brand new bikes, and nearly 15,000 have enrolled in Citi Bike’s membership program. Though the program comes one year late (and much to the chagrin of several factions across NYC’s boroughs), most New Yorkers are welcoming the bikes with open arms, hoping that the program will mean more bike paths, safer riding city-wide, reduced emissions, and healthier bodies.
“We have the A train, and we have yellow cabs, and we have the Staten Island Ferry, and today Citi Bike joins the ranks of the transportation icon family in New York City,” said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in a press conference yesterday. “It’s been over 75 years since our streets have seen a new public transit system, and people are enthusiastic.”
Currently there are 6,000 bikes placed across 330 stations in Brooklyn and in Manhattan below 59th Street, but there are plans to expand this number to 10,000 bikes at 600 stations, extending the system to Queens. Citi Bike subscribers who have already paid their $95 dues can now unlock a cruiser at any of the open stations, take a bike for 45-minute ride, and return it to any open rack once they are done riding.
Starting June 2, 24-hour passes will be available for about $10, and a seven-day pass will be available for $25. Both these options will allow for an unlimited number of 30-minute trips, and charges are applied at the point of return. As an added bonus, the share program offers an app to help riders find different stations around town and check if there are bikes at those stations.
“We now have an entirely new transportation network without spending any taxpayer money,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference. Citigroup paid $41 million to sponsor the program, and no government money is being used.
The program launched just in time for summer, and we can’t wait to take one of these bikes for a spin ourselves!