Get Ready for NYC CITIBIKE Bike Share

UPDATE May 27, 2013 – Annual Members begin taking bikes out on a quiet Memorial Day.

Late afternoon joyride on Bike Share launch day.

Late afternoon joyride on Bike Share launch day.

UPDATE May 24, 2013 – Stations populated with bikes are being sighted around the city. Annual Members can start using the bikes on Monday May 27.

Citi Bike Bike Share has arrived

Early sighting: CitiBikes in the East Village, May 24 2013 – Photo evgrieve.com

Citibike NYC Bike Share is happening! Bike docking stations are being installed every day. By the end of May, 330 stations will be filled with 6,000 shining new bikes ready for you to use. Here is Virtuous Bicycle’s quick-start guide to what the bike share program is and how it will work.
CitiBike Bike Share

AT A GLANCE Bike stations will be located at regular intervals approximately 3 blocks apart. Each station will hold from 10 bikes up to many more at transit hubs like Grand Central or Penn Station. The bikes are available 24/7/365. Taking and returning bikes is completely self-service.

The stations are currently being placed in Manhattan below 59th St and in Downtown Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy. The program is set to expand in Manhattan to 79th St, and in additional parts of Brooklyn and western Queens. See: STATION MAP

USE THE BIKES FOR SHORT TRIPS You take a bike from the nearest dock, ride to your destination, and return the bike to the nearest empty docking station. This is not a bike rental program – each trip is limited to 45 minutes for annual members, or 30 minutes for daily and weekly users, before overtime charges kick in. Most locations within the “service area” can be reached in these time limits. Need more time? Dock and un-dock along the way to reset the clock!

UNLIMITED TRIPS: Despite the per-ride time limits, you can make an unlimited number of trips. This means you can daisy-chain your sessions together by docking, then un-docking a bike to reset the clock. Yes, you could ride all day without incurring overtime charges!

Overtime charges are expensive and designed to maintain the program’s focus on short trips. Details: PRICING

CitiBike Key CitiBike Bike Share will be available through annual memberships and weekly or daily passes. Annual memberships are available online only. Weekly and daily passes must be purchased at a kiosk with a credit card. Annual members will receive a keychain fob (a “member key”) that will release a bike from its dock. Weekly or daily pass holders use their credit card at the start of each trip to identify themselves to the system. The kiosk prints out a “ride code”; enter your ride code to release a bike.

Sturdy, “step-through” style frames with 3-speeds, handbrakes, fenders, adjustable seats, and upright handlebars. The bikes are comfortable and stable. Front and rear lights are activated when you ride. There’s a small handlebar rack with bungie cord.

CitiBike Bike Share

The stations are solar powered, they communicate with the system wirelessly. The bikes have GPS locators. There is a Smartphone App that will help you find available bikes, find docking stations, plan routes, get help or report problems. GET THE APP
New to city biking? See VB BEGINNER’S CORNER.

• Some stations are on the sidewalk – As you prepare for your ride, be mindful of blocking the path of residents trying to walk by.
• Some stations are on the street – Look behind you for approaching vehicles (including bikes) as you undock and prepare to ride.
• Yield to existing traffic – Before you pull out on the street, wait for a gap in traffic, or get in line at a Red light.
• Start on the appropriate side of the road if you’ll be turning.
• Do not carry loads that compromise your ability to control your bike.
• Be considerate of Pedestrians – We need widespread community support to encourage cycling in the city.
• Do a Pre-Ride Bike Check – Check the tires and brakes. If you find a mechanical problem, or have a problem during your ride: Dock the bike, press the WRENCH icon on the dock to indicate a mechanical problem, then take a different bike. A steady red light on the dock indicates the bike is out of service. It’s also helpful to others if you turn the seat backwards on problem bikes.

CitiBike recommends, but does not require use of a helmet.
Virtuous Bicycle says “Use Your Head – Wear a Hemlet”

YIELD to PEDESTRIANS (Be Courteous!)
LEARN MORE about city riding at VB Traffic Skills
Get your annual CitiBike membership now! Keyfobs will go out 1 week before the first bikes! Rumor: Memorial Day Weekend! [fact!]

Visit the official CITIBIKE WEBSITE to sign up for your annual membership

Lots more details at NYC DOT FAQ

About the author

Lance Jacobs

A native New Yorker, biking has been part of my life from my paper route in 5th grade, through my international tours on 4 continents. Now, as a League Certified Instructor (LCI #3507), my focus is on studying and teaching the best way to ride in NYC's unique street environment. I love cycling and I love my city. I believe riding our streets can be stress free when approached with some solid skills, some basic knowledge, and the right frame of mind.

1 comment

  1. Lance Jacobs

    News Flash – this e-mail just came in from CitiBike . . .

    The Bikes are Coming!

    The wait is nearly over. Citi Bike will launch for Annual Members on Monday, May 27th. If you sign up for annual memberships by May 17 you’ll be able to receive your Citi Bike key in time to enjoy exclusive use of the system starting Memorial Day. On June 2, short term passes will be available for purchase at stations. Citi Bike is launching with 6,000 bikes at 333 stations in areas including Manhattan below 59th Street and the neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

    Sign up for Annual Membership, which provides unlimited rides of 45 minutes or less at citibikenyc.com. Starting June 2, daily 24-Hour and 7-Day Passes memberships will be available at station kiosks for $9.95 a day or $25 a week, granting those members unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes.

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