Photo Courtesy of NYC Bike Share
New Yorkers will try out their new bike sharing system this summer.
Citi Bike, named after its title sponsor, Citibank, is set to become the largest bike share in North America. With over 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the system will expand transportation choices and provide commuters with a cheap, an easy and an efficient option for short trips.
“From its yellow taxis, to its landmark bridges, to the Staten Island Ferry, New York City is a city of transportation icons, and these signature blue Citi Bikes will be New Yorkers’ newest transportation choice,” said Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Citi Bike, which is scheduled to launch in August 2012, couldn’t have come at a better time: bicycling in New York has never been bigger. Since 2006, New York City has added over 270 miles (435 kilometers) of bike lanes, including routes through parks and greenways, bringing the total to over 700 miles (1,127 kilometers). In addition, bike counts on key routes have more than doubled since 2007, while cycling injuries have decreased or remained the same.
Citi Bikes will be available 24 hours per day, seven days per week and 365 days per year. The bikes feature durable frames, bells, daytime running lights, secure docking stations and GPS theft-prevention systems.
The bike share is built around a five-year agreement between operator NYC Bike Share and sponsors Citibank and MasterCard. Citibank is providing $41 million, while MasterCard is contributing $6.5 million and funding the bike rental payment system. NYC Bike Share is not receiving any taxpayer or federal aid dollars, and once the bike share is up and running, revenues from users will help fund the system.
Citi Bikes are available to everyone 16 years and older. Users have the option of purchasing a membership for the day ($9.95), week ($25) or year ($95). With a daily membership less than a 10 minute cab ride and an annual membership less than a single monthly unlimited Metro Card, bike share is an affordable transportation alternative. The system also came with a nifty app, SpotCycle, which provides current information on bike and dock availability.
Each membership category allows the user to take an unlimited number of trips, with the first 30 minutes (24-hour and seven-day members) or 45 minutes (annual members) of the trip included in the membership fee and a graduated fee charged for longer use. This system of bike sharing, similar to BIXI in Montreal and Vélib' in Paris, encourages members to use the bikes for shorter trips and maximizes bike sharing potential.
Since the bikes can be returned to any station, NYC Bike Share will create an efficient network consisting of hundreds of possible arrival and departure points. And because 54 percent of all trips made by New Yorkers are less than two miles (3.2 kilometers), the bike share is expected to be a viable transportation option for many, particularly those eager to avoid inner-city gridlock.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, “The idea behind bike share is simple: give people one more way to get around town faster.”
Learn more at citibikenyc.com
Bike Share Announced in Los Angeles
Bike Nation, a Southern California bike share company, will fund 4,000 bicycles at 400 stations around downtown LA, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach, CA. Installation will begin in late 2012.
Find out more at bikenationusa.com