This July New Yorkers will get a public bike rental program in the form of 10,000 bikes available for pick up in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In a scene already familiar to Europeans, as well as Washingtonians, the bikes will placed around the city at “docking stations” where the public can check out a bike with the swipe of a credit card for a set amount of time before returning it, so someone else can rent it.
The program, dubbed “Citi Bike,” is sponsored by Citigroup for a reported $41 million (hence the name), and Mastercard, which means no public funds will be used to support the program.
The city’s Dept. of Transportation put out a call for proposals on starting a bike-sharing program about two years ago and NYC Bike Share, whose parent company, Alta Bicycle Share, runs the Boston and Washington, DC, city bike programs, won the five-year contract.
The public can rent a bike for about $10 a day, or less if they choose an annual membership. Full rates:
Annual Membership: $957-Day Membership: $2524-Hour Membership: $9.95
The program fits into Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ongoing initiative to “green” New York City with less cars, more green space, less greenhouse gases, and to generally push for energy-efficiency and renewable resources.
While such programs are common in European cities like London and Paris, they’re newer to the United States. Los Angeles is expected to get its first bike-sharing program later this year.