This week the new New York City bike share program citibike opened up to registrations. Within four hours 2500 people had signed up, by the next day 5000 people had registered for annual memberships.
This is a very encouraging start to the city's efforts to make New York more bikeable. The more bikers are on the streets, the more it encourages others to make a switch as well. Statistics show that the more cyclists are on the streets the fewer bike accidents happen - according to safety experts "motorists become more alert to cyclists when there are more of them." This is good news for residents who have been looking to get in an extra workout and avoid subway rush hours by commuting to work by bike.
The scheme, which was scheduled to launch in the summer of 2012, but was delayed due to software problems and Hurricane Sandy, is set to start this May. An interactive map that shows all present and future bike station locations is available online. For now 293 stations are located across Manhattan (below Central Park) and across a swath of Brooklyn through Fort Greene to Bedford-Stuyvesant. Eventually the system will grow to 10,000 bikes across 600 stations.
Rates range from $9.99 + tax for a 24-hour access pass to $95 + tax for annual membership. This includes 30 minutes riding time for day and weekly passes, 45 minutes for annual passes, additional time is charged in an escalating price scale to discourage long-term use. Detailed information on pricing and signing up can be found on the citibike website.
Citibikes are a nice way to explore New York City in a leisurely way - almost as relaxed as exploring neighborhoods on Relocality!