The New York Citi Bike system launched May 27th and will continue to expand to new neighborhoods
On Monday, May 27th, New York City launched "Citi Bike," the country's largest bike share system. The brand-new transportation option puts 6,000 bikes into use at more than 300 stations in initial service areas including: Manhattan below 59th Street, and Brooklyn neighborhoods Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO.
Service is now open exclusively to annual members until Sunday, June 2nd, when 24-hour and seven-day access passes -- which provide unlimited 30-minute trips -- will be available for purchase at any station kiosk. (Annual members are allowed unlimited trips up to 45 minutes for an entire year without incurring any additional costs.)
Full pricing details are at: citibikenyc.com/pricing.
"Citi Bike isn't just a bike network, it's New York City's first new public transit system in more than 75 years," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who kicked off the service alongside Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other officials. "Bikes are convenient, safe and affordable transit for growing numbers of New Yorkers and Citi Bike will change how we get around the city for years to come."
Citi Bike is being funded by a $41 million sponsorship from Citi, one of the world's leading global banks, without subsidy from the City of New York.
Annual members who sign up at citibikenyc.com receive an electronic key, which they can insert into a bike dock to undock a bike. To complete the trip, users dock the bike at any available rack in the system.
Citi Bike locations were determined at 400 meetings with community boards, civic organizations, elected officials and other property owners and stakeholders, and with some 65,000 online suggestions received on the city's bike share portal, the most public input for any transportation project. Annual membership provides a complement to New York City's extensive transportation network and will make destinations farther from subway stations and bus stops easier to reach, while also providing better access to many of the city's growing waterfront communities.
The city plans to expand the system toward a goal of 10,000 bikes and 600 stations stretching from the Upper East and West sides; Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Crown Heights and Greenpoint in Brooklyn; and Long Island City and Sunnyside in Queens.
The 6,000 bikes and more than 300 solar-powered stations have the cardinal rules of the road printed on them - Yield to pedestrians; Stay off the sidewalk; Obey traffic lights; Ride with traffic. While helmet use is not legally required for any adult cyclists in the city, it is strongly encouraged for CitiBike users. Annual members receive a $10 helmet discount coupon, and the Department has distributed more than 80,000 free helmets to bike riders and is on pace to reach 100,000 distributed by the end of this year.
The city DOT also launched street safety managers to reinforce the rules of the road, which come alongside advertising campaigns to encourage all street users to look out for each other. The last five years have recorded the fewest traffic fatalities in city history, and the risk of serious injury for bike riders has dropped nearly 75 percent over the last decade as ridership quadrupled while serious crashes remained unchanged. Biking is the city's fastest growing transportation option, with the number of cyclists on key commuter routes doubling from 2007 to 2011.
Citi Bike is also expected to have a positive impact on the local economy, creating 170 jobs and generating $36 million in local economic activity annually. The number of New York City bike shops has grown from about 100 five years ago to 170 today, driven by the demand for bikes and also for helmets, lights and biking gear.