What is bike share?

Bike share is an easy way to get around New York by providing iconic, sturdy bikes at self-service docking stations. New York City’s bike share system is Citi Bike, which is owned and operated by NYC Bike Share.
People can use Citi Bike by becoming long- or short-term members. For 24-hour or other short term memberships, users can sign up at any station kiosk with a credit card. Annual members enroll online and receive a key in the mail.

Bikes can be picked up or returned to any station in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible points and combinations of departure and arrival.

Why does New York need bike share?

Bike share provides New Yorkers with more options for getting around the city. A majority of all trips (54%) made in the city are less than two miles. Bike share gives New Yorkers another cheap, easy, efficient and fast option for these trips by providing ready access to a bike, without having to worry about storage or maintenance.

Bike share also leverages the city’s great mass transit system – 50% of Citi Bike trips are made to get to or from a public transit station — and extends the reach of transit into newly developing areas that don’t have great subway coverage, like waterfronts. As Mayor de Blasio has said, “Citi Bike has become part of our public transportation system.”

Citi Bike is funded through private capital, sponsorship agreements, and revenues from users.

Who can use Citi Bike?

Citi Bike is available to everyone 16 years old and older. Memberships can be purchased with a credit or debit card.

As cities all over the world have discovered, bike share programs are used by a wide range of people for an almost infinite variety of trips. In New York, where 54% of all trips are less than two miles, bike share is useful to almost everyone – New Yorkers trying to get across town, commuters traveling to or from neighborhoods with fewer subway stations, students getting from dorms to classrooms, people who live a long walk from subway or ferry stations and tourists moving between the city’s vast array of attractions.

Is Citi Bike open year-round?

Yes. Citi Bike is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In the event of general weather conditions that may make cycling hazardous, NYC Bike Share will temporarily shut down the system. The system will reopen as soon as the weather permits. NYC Bike Share is responsible for station cleaning and snow removal.

How much does a Citi Bike membership cost?

Current pricing information is available at www.citibikenyc.com.

Citi Bike’s pricing structure is designed to encourage short trips. Your membership entitles you to take as many trips as you want during the time period you purchased (e.g. annually or daily). For each trip, your initial ride period is free. However, if you exceed the time limit—45 minutes per trip for annual members and 30 minutes per trip for others—you pay additional fees based on how long you keep the bike. The fee is small in the first additional half hour but escalates after that, so it’s in your best interest to get where you’re going and re-dock the bike so someone else can use it.

How were the station locations selected?

Beginning in 2011, DOT conducted an intensive and participatory public input process, meeting frequently with 15 Community Boards, conducting over 300 meetings with business improvement districts, property owners, civic associations, institutions and elected officials, and holding more than 30 events to demonstrate the bike share equipment. From 2011 to 2013, the City held well-attended community planning workshops in every part of the bike share area and received almost 10,000 suggestions and 65,000 votes for station sites on the interactive siting map. The input gathered through this process created the site plan for the bike share and the result reflects the public’s preference for how the system should work in different parts of the city.

Is bike share safe?

Yes. To date, New Yorkers have taken over 12 million Citi Bike trips with less than a few dozen crashes, none serious. Citi Bike bikes are extremely stable, not capable of high speeds and are routinely maintained by professional mechanics. Safety features such as always-on lights and bells, are integral to bike share bikes. All bike share station locations are reviewed and approved by DOT traffic engineers to ensure safety.

Today, cycling has never been safer in New York City. Since 2007, DOT bike counts on key routes have more than quadrupled, while cycling injuries and fatalities have fallen or remained flat. Overall, the risk of injury to cyclists in New York City has decreased by 75% since 2000. The City has added over 270 miles of bike lanes in the city since 2006, which has made streets much safer for cyclists. There are now more than 900 miles of bike lanes city-wide, including parks and greenways. Data from London and Washington show that people riding shared bicycles are involved in fewer crashes and receive fewer injuries than people riding their own bikes and a recent Hunter College study has shown that Citi Bike riders are some of the safest cyclists on the road.

Citi Bike itself is also a great way to inform New Yorkers and visitors about bicycle safety. New York City’s rules of the road are printed on each Citi Bike, on Citi Bike stations and other materials. The program’s visibility and its correspondence with subscribers creates a platform to further educate New Yorkers on how to safely share the streets.

Are helmets included?

No. Helmet-sharing is not practical as part of the system. However, the City strongly encourages the use of helmets. All annual Citi Bike members receive a voucher for a reduced price bike helmet from any bike shop in the city. Citi Bike has also partnered with Bike and Roll who offers 1-day helmet rentals from any of the Bike and Roll locations.

In addition, DOT continues to distribute free helmets – over 110,000 have been given away to New Yorkers since 2007. Call 311 for more information on being fitted for a free helmet. New York State law requires helmets for bicyclists age 13 and under.

Is there an app to find Citi Bike stations?

Yes. The Citi Bike app, provides real-time information on bike and dock availability in New York City. In addition, other apps, such as SpotCycle, also show real-time information for bike share systems around the globe. Citi Bike and the City expect that the New York’s great developer community will create even more options for the public.

Who is paying for bike share in New York?

Citi Bike is funded through private capital, sponsorship agreements, and revenues from users. Sponsorship and revenues cover the entire equipment and operations cost of the system. NYC Bike Share does not receive any taxpayer or federal-aid dollars.

How was Citi selected as the sponsor?

After being selected as the system operator, NYC Bike Share put out a call for sponsors. NYC Bike Share, supported by city government, was in contact with companies around the world to discuss the project and solicit interest from potential sponsors.

How much is the sponsorship worth, and how long is it for?

The sponsorship agreement between NYC Bike Share and Citi runs for six years. Citi’s contribution as the title sponsor is $41 million. MasterCard is the official payment sponsor and is contributing $6.5 million. Citi’s brand appears on all 10,000 bikes, 600 stations, membership keys and the NYC Bike Share website. Citi does not operate Citi Bike and does not receive any share of revenues.

What other cities have bike share? How do they compare with Citi Bike?

People are using bike share systems in over 200 cities, including Boston, Washington, Denver, Minneapolis, London, Paris, Mexico City, and Barcelona. More programs are launching each year. London’s program has 10,000 bicycles and is set to break its peak ridership month record, set during the 2012 Olympics, of over 1.17 million trips.

In New York, Citi Bike’s 6,000 bikes routinely see more than a million trips per month from July through October. To date, the peak month was September 2013 with over 1.16 million trips. Since launch, Citi Bikes have taken over 12 million trips and traveled more than 20 million miles.