After endless delays, New York City’s troubled bike-sharing program now is set to start on Monday, May 27th on a limited basis – limited to those who signed up for the before May 17th. That will give the operators a week to work out the last of the kinks before Citibike is opened to everybody the following Monday, June 2nd, such as whether bike wind up in less popular destinations and have to be trucked back to more central locations.
In full operation, there will be more than 6,000 sturdy city bikes available in more than 300 locations, most of them in Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn. The program was supposed to launch last summer, but was delayed by software problems. Then, there was the damage by Hurricane Sandy to the warehouse storing the bikes. All is well now, and New York City joins international cities from Paris and Barcelona to Taipei and Tel Aviv with bike sharing programs. The NYC effort is sponsored by Citibank, which has paid megabucks for the right to brand the program as Citi Bike.
The program’s pricing favors the heaviest user. An annual membership costs $95 for 45-minute rides, which is $17 cheaper than a monthly subway pass. A 24-hour membership costs $9.95 and covers an unlimited number of 30-minute rides, making it ideal for visiting tourists. Click here to register, pay for a membership, and get the NYC rules and regulations for bike riding, which include wearing a helmet.