New York Bike Share Introduces Phone App

May 21, 2013 — By Jen Benepe

Citi Bikes, the New York City bike share program that is starting on May 27, has just released a new phone app for users of its bicycles.

It will be a real-time guide to help Citi Bike members locate nearby bike docking stations and get information on the number of available bikes and docks.

“This new app will help tap into everything that the city’s newest transportation system has to offer when Citi Bike launches next week,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “With instant information on available bikes, stations and nearby destinations, this smart technology will bring the city within reach with just a click.”

The software can be obtained for free at an Apple Store and through Google Play for Apple iOS and Android devices. It is powered by Google Maps API, guiding users to bike-friendly routes.

The app will also feature a map of the Citi Bike service areas, with station locations identified with blue-and-white bike icons, which users can tap to see how many bikes and docks are available at each station.

There are currently more than 300 docking stations and 6,000 bikes in Manhattan below 59th Street and neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Bike share users can plan their trips by showing the nearest station with available bikes at the start of their trip as well as nearby stations with open docks at their destinations, said the NYC Department of Transportation.

Developed by Publicis Kaplan Thaler, the software currently displays partial station information and will be continuously updated in the coming days.

It will provide real-time updates on the complete network of stations, bikes and docks when the system is launched on May 27. To map a route, Citi Bike members can enter an address or landmark into the app to receive turn-by-turn directions on the most bike-friendly route to the docking station closest to their destination.

Should a station not have any open docks or bikes, the program will automatically direct users to the next closest station at the beginning and end of their trip.

Conveniently, the software also features a timer to alert riders when it is time to dock their bike to stay within the free period—45 minutes for annual members and 30 minutes for daily and weekly members. The app also lets users save their favorite locations and share their use of Citi Bike via social media.

Later this summer, users will be able to use new features on the interactive Citi Bike map, for example, content from The New York Times’s The Scoop app, with listings and recommendations of restaurants, coffee shops and destinations and events across the service area.

The software also incorporates bike shop locations, showing users where they can purchase helmets and other biking

The author testing out a Citibike last August, 2012 (c) Benepe

accessories, as well as a feature that displays branch locations for Citibank customers.

Citi Bike, New York City’s bike sharing system, will provide New Yorkers and visitors with an additional transportation option, with a focus on short trips, for getting around the city.

More than 12,000 annual members have already signed-up ahead of the May 27 launch, providing them with unlimited 45-minute trips on 6,000 bikes for just $95, and the system will open to daily and weekly memberships on June 2. Visit for more information on the program.

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