Known as Citibike, the privately funded program started on Monday with 6,000 bikes located at more than 300 stations. The goal is to expand to 10,000 bikes throughout 600 stations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Residents who want a quick, cheap way to get around can now unlock a three-gear cruiser from any station, take it for a 45 minute ride, and return it to any other Citibike rack.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed his enthusiasm for the program, saying the city now has “an entirely new transportation network without spending any taxpayer money.”
Of course there are a handful of NIMBYs who don’t like the sight of the racks near their building entrances, but for the most part, the program is largely favored by New Yorkers. The 15,000+ people that have already signed up outnumber the handful of naysayers, some of who have actually sued the city to get it away from their building. 400 community meetings have been held to decide where to place the racks.
The cost for the program is a $95 annual fee for unlimited 45 minute rides, and starting June 2nd, there will also be a 24-hour pass for $10 and a 7-day pass for $25, each of which allow unlimited 30-minute trips.
I cannot even begin to explain how hard I would kill for something like this in Detroit. I’m thinking Citibike will expand to other cities if it proves to be a success, which will only encourage Generation Y to ditch their cars even more.
If you’re a New Yorker, will you be joining in on Citibike?
Image CC licensed by New York City Department of Transportation