New York’s Bike-Share Offer Sells Out

By Jen Benepe

It took only one day for the first 5,000 founding bike share memberships to sell, said the department responsible for Citibikes yesterday.

“New Yorkers are clearly ready to take advantage of the quick, convenient travel our bike share program will provide.  It’s a strong early sign of success,” said New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

The key that members will receive for being one of the first of 5,000 to sign up.

The launch of Citibikes, a 600-bicycle rental system across parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn won’t even happen until May of this year.

But the bike share program offered the first 5,000 comers a chance to become “founding members” that enjoy certain privileges, such as a green key, and special offers from time to time.

That was all it took for cycling aficionados to join, most of whom have been waiting with baited breath for the system to launch for more than one and a half years because the original launch was supposed to take place a year ago, in 2012.

Estimates of the total number of active commuting cyclists go as high as 150,000 a day depending on whom you are asking, but the core must be those who spent $95 for membership when they won’t even be able to use it until next month, and then only at select, limited locations.

Note the published Citibikes map demarcates the eventual station availability, not the availability come May, 2013. That data has not yet been provided to the public.

The city’s department of transportation has promised that the system should be in full swing by the end of the 2013 summer season.

Current station locations for Citibikes when it launches in May.

Eventually, the number of bicycles will increase to 10,000.

By comparison, Paris’ bike share program, the Velib boasts over 20,000 bicycles in over 1,800 locations and has been in operation since 2007.

Annual memberships remain available by a simple visit to and all New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for “this fast and safe transportation option.” Unfortunately, there are no more founding member keys left. 🙁

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