What is bike share?

Bike share is an easy, affordable mode of transportation allowing users to make trips using sturdy, publicly available bikes at self-service docking stations. The bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system, making bike share ideal for short, one way trips. New York City’s bike share system, Citi Bike, is part of a public-private partnership with a company called Motivate, and their local subsidiary New York City Bike Share, LLC (NYCBS).

How does bike share work?

Bike share is designed for short point A to point B trips. Users can become annual or short-term members. For short-term memberships (24-hour or three-day passes) users can sign up at any kiosk or via the Citi Bike app using a credit card.  Annual members can enroll online and will receive a key in the mail. For information on discounted memberships, see below. Once a membership has been purchased, users can unlock a bike from any station in the system and return it to any other station in the system creating an efficient network with many possible trips.

Riders are limited to short lengths of time (30 minutes for short-term members, 45 minutes for annual members) to ensure that bikes are available for as many users as possible throughout the day.  Users can take as many short rides as they want throughout the period of their membership.  Bikes may be kept out for longer rides, but extra fees will apply.  For more information visit Citi Bike’s “How It Works” page.

Why does New York need bike share system?

Bike share provides New Yorkers with more options for getting around the city. A majority of all trips made in the City are less than two miles. Bike share gives New Yorkers a convenient, efficient, affordable option for these trips by providing easy 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.”

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 a majority of trips are under 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.

Who is running Citi Bike?

Citi Bike is a public-private partnership between the City of New York, represented by NYC DOT and Motivate, a private company that owns and operates bike share systems around the country. In New York City, Motivate has a local subsidiary, New York City Bike Share, LLC (NYCBS) which oversees all the operations of the program.  As part of the agreement the City allows Motivate to utilize the public right of way (the street, sidewalk or plaza) to place Citi Bike Stations in exchange for Motivate providing the service of a reasonably priced, flexible bicycle transportation system for New Yorkers.  No tax payer monies are used to fund the Citi Bike system.

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.

Is Citi Bike open year-round?

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

In the event of inclement weather conditions that may make cycling hazardous, NYCBS will temporarily shut down the system. The system will reopen as soon as the weather permits. NYCBS 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. A membership entitles users to take as many trips as they want during the length of their membership. For each trip, your initial ride period is included in the cost of the membership purchase. However, if the time limit on the initial ride period is exceeded—45 minutes per trip for annual members and 30 minutes per trip for short-term members—users pay additional fees based on how long the bike is kept out. The fee is small in the first additional half hour but escalates after that, so it’s in the user’s best interest to get to his or her destination and re-dock the bike so someone else can use it.

Are there discounted memberships available?

Yes, for just $5 per month New Yorkers living in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing and members of participating Community Development Credit Unions can purchase annual memberships. Please visit the Citi Bike NYCHA membership page and the CDCU membership page for more information.

In addition, any New Yorker with an IDNYC card will receive 15% of their first annual membership purchase, and Citi credit or debit cardholders will receive 10% off their annual membership at checkout.

How are station locations selected?

Beginning in 2011 and continuing today, the New York City Department of Transportation conducts an extensive and participatory public input process. This process involves holding interactive workshops and meeting frequently with Community Boards, elected officials, community organizations and other stakeholders to gather input.  Additionally, DOT provides the opportunity for those who may not be able to attend a public meeting to give feedback through an interactive siting map where citizens can suggest future station locations throughout the City.  This method of planning allows for a system truly designed for New Yorkers, to meet New Yorkers needs.  Station locations are tailored to what we heard from communities.

How big is the current Citi Bike system?

The system currently has 10,000 bikes and 610 stations.  By the end of 2017 the system will expand to include 12,000 bikes at approximately 750 stations. That’s double the size of the system at launch in 2013!

Is bike share safe?

Yes, Citi Bike has an extremely strong safety record. Citi Bikes are very 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. Learn more about the bike itself here. All bike share station locations are reviewed and approved by DOT traffic engineers to ensure safety.

Cycling in general has never been safer in New York City. Since 2010, total daily bicycling trips have grown by 80%, while cycling injuries and fatalities per million cycling trips have fallen. Overall, the risk of injury to cyclists in New York City has decreased by 72% since 2000. The City has added over 500 miles of bike lanes in the City since 2006, which has made streets much safer for cyclists. There are now more than 1,000 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 members creates a platform to further educate New Yorkers on how to safely share the streets.

Are helmets included?

No, helmets are not included as part of a Citi Bike membership and helmet sharing is not a practical part of the system.  However, the City of New York strongly encourages the use of helmets. All annual Citi Bike members receive a voucher reducing the price of a bike helmet by $10 from participating bike shops. 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 160,000 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 and New Jersey, trip information including a trip timer, ride history and suggested cycling routes.  Short-term memberships can also be purchased through the Citi Bike app.

In addition, other apps, such as SpotCycle, also show real-time information for bike share systems around the globe.

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 Bank selected as the title sponsor?

After being selected as the system operator, New York City Bike Share LLC (NYCBS), and subsidiary of Motivate, put out a call for sponsors. NYCBS, supported by City government, was in contact with companies around the world to discuss the project and solicit interest from potential sponsors. Through this process Citi Bank was selected as the title sponsor for 10 years.

What kind of jobs is Citi Bike bringing to New York City?

Citi Bike has created many new jobs in New York City and will continue to do so as the system expands. From bicycle mechanics to call center operators to marketing and administrative staff, Motivate is always looking for good people. Motivate is headquartered in Brooklyn and operates all aspects of the program from New York City. Find out more about career opportunities at Motivate here: https://www.citibikenyc.com/careers.