CitiBike to launch on May 27; early signups end May 17

Just in time for the tail end of National Bike Month and only one year late, Citi Bike, New York City’s bike share program, will officially launch on Monday, May 27, with registered members receiving their access keys in time to start riding on Memorial Day — Monday, May 27.

That gives early adopters over a week of exclusive bike access before the public bike share system opens up to daily and weekly pass members on June 2.

“Now’s the time for New Yorkers to sign up for their own keys to the city,” said city Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who added that over 8,000 annual memberships have already been sold.

Annual memberships are selling for $95 plus tax; weekly passes are $25+tax and daily passes are $9.95+tax.

Annual memberships include unlimited rides at 45 minutes or less each, while daily and weekly rides are unlimited at 30 minutes or less.

The first list of Citi Bike station locations was released in April and Brooklyn is well represented, with dozens of stations in Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and parts of Bedford-Stuyvesant. A total of 330 stations throughout the city will house 6,000 bikes.

Additional stations are eventually planned for Greenpoint, Williamsburg, and Park Slope, although when those will be rolled out has not yet been determined.

Described by some as a program that is like Zipcar, but for bicycles, NYC’s Citi Bike bike share program is modeled after programs in Washington, D.C., Boston and Melbourne, Australia.

According to the contract between DOT and Alta Bicycle Share, which is running the project, Alta is responsible for “all system operations, including installation, maintenance, repairs, cleaning and customer support,” and is “subject to a strict maintenance and repairs schedule on the bikes and stations.”

As for combatting theft, the specially designed gray-and-black bicycles, which come with an adjustable seat, flashing lights and a front utility rack, are said to be made of parts that have no independent resale value and cannot be disassembled without special tools.

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