Dust off your biking cut-offs and your credit cards because it’s for real this time. New York City’s much awaited bike share program is finally ready to roll from May this year, after a software issue stymied its planned release last summer (and then Hurricane Sandy in the fall), the New York City transportation department said last week. The Citi Bike program, the largest of its kind in North America, will kick into high gear this summer, and will ultimately have 600 stations and 10,000 bikes.
Snap up your yearly membership for the low, low price of $95—low at least compared to the eye-popping $112 you’re probably shelling out for a subway pass each month—and the first 45 minutes of each trip is free.
With the $25 weekly pass, the first 30 minutes of each trip is free, and the same goes for the $9.95 day pass. To encourage wary bikers, the department is also sweetening the deal by providing a special $5 one-day membership in the first weeks after the program begins. Additional pricing info here.
Brooklyn Navy Yard workers have already been test-driving the system since October, anonymous sources told transportation news site StreetsBlog.org at the time, who said Citi Bike stations have been set up all over the 300-acre yard.
Much of Manhattan below Central Park is dotted with Citi Bike stations, according to the state DOT’s map, while many Brooklyn neighborhoods—especially in the triangular space circumscribed by Greenpoint, Boerum Hill and Bed Stuy—will also be beneficiaries of the program.
The benefactors here are Citibank and MasterCard, who take care to note no taxpayer funds were harmed in the making of this program. Before you start feeling too warmly about this altruistic gesture, Citigroup Inc. did accept a $45 billion taxpayer bailout after the 2008 financial meltdown.