The new bike shares for New York City residents and visitors is now available, and they are offering the first 5,000 members a
“limited edition Founding Member key fob.”
The fob will entitle members to a 24-hour Citi Bike pass “to share with a friend and discounts on great local bicycling events,” said the Citibike organization in a press release.
“Citi Bike will redefine what it means to get around New York City, and now is the time to upgrade to this fun, fast and safe transportation option,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan who was responsible for shepherding the program through the city bureaucracy.
Annual memberships will also allow participants to use the system exclusively before the system opens to daily and weekly users. The system will launch next month, but no word on when daily and weekly users can begin using the program.
“There’s a sparkling new rack around the corner from me (at Bond and Schermerhorn),” said Matt Brown who belongs to ebikes, an electronic exchange started by the late Daniel Lieberman, and is a devoted cyclist. “My helmet’s ready–I just need a key fob and actual bikes in the racks.”
For a fee of $95 a year, members will receive the first 45 minutes of bike use free. After that, they pay on an hourly basis.
Several cyclists have already announced that they plan on joining the program even though they already own one or more bikes of their own, and some have reported seeing the new bike share stands popping up in their neighborhoods.
The planned stations are situated all over the city, but won’t be in service until next month.
And despite the well-publicized fights between some residents in select neighborhoods and the Department of Transportation about the placements of the big, blue bicycles, most of the locations have been approved by local community boards.
Those approvals came after the DOT engaged in an elaborate process of hood-by-hood approvals through the local governing, non-elected bodies.
Citibikes says the annual membership amounts to a cost of 26 cents a day and includes as many free 45-minute trips as you can pack into a year.
Annual members also receive a discount coupon for a helmet, redeemable at participating New York City bike shops, and an invitation to any Citi Bike Streets Skills class, which Citi Bike hosts in partnership with Bike New York.
The discount will be $10 for Bern, Bontrager and Nutcase helmets, said the DOT in a statement.
Bike New York provides bike education for a minimal fee, and recently won its court case against the city of New York to hold its annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour, without paying a police traffic control fee of almost $1 M.
The Citi Bike system launch has been increased to 6,000 bikes at 330 stations across parts of Brooklyn and in Manhattan south of 59th Street after post-Sandy recovery operations yielded more equipment than estimated, said the DOT.
Work continues to expand the system toward a goal of 10,000 bikes and 600 stations stretching from the Upper East and West sides to Long Island City and Sunnyside in Queens and south to Park Slope, Cobble Hill and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.