Friday, June 7, 2013

NYC Launches Nation's Largest Bike Share Program

CitiBike Bike Share (http://www.bicycling.com/)
This past weekend, the New York City streets were no longer filled with just yellow-cabs. With CitiGroup's $41 million sponsorship, the NYC Bike-Share program took off with thousands of bright blue bikes available to the public for a small fee. Users simply pay $10 to use the bike for the entire day and then must check the bike into another station every half hour. Members can pay $95 for the entire year for an unlimited number of rides and must check their bikes in every 45 minutes. The bike has an app that allows riders to know where the closest available bike stations are and whether they are filled to capacity.

The goal of the program is to create a healthy, fast commute for those in the city, and it provides a new alternative to the subway or simply walking. In Brooklyn and Manhattan alone, there are currently over 300 stations, and there have been over 75,000 rides in the past week. Although the bikes are not suitable for long leisurely rides, and some complain that they don't want to see CitiGroup advertisements along the sidewalks and in the parks, this mode of transportation is clean and eco-friendly and promotes environmental and public health.

Chicago, Long Beach, and San Diego are set to start bike share programs of their own and will join New York, Denver, Minneapolis, and Boston among others in the pursuit to create efficient, eco-conscious public transportation.