New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson, New York City Bicycle Share (NYCBS) and Citi Consumer Banking Eastern Region President Kathryn Chase today announced that Citi Bike is now accepting annual membership registrations at citibikenyc.com, giving New Yorkers their first chance to sign up for the city’s newest transportation option before it launches next month. Annual memberships cost $95—or just 25 cents per day—and provide one year of unlimited free rides lasting 45 minutes or less, the kind of short trips that Citi Bike is designed for. DOT and NYCBS announced that annual members will receive a coupon for a $10 discount on helmets from well-known brands—Bern, Nutcase and Bontrager—which will be accepted at participating bike shops citywide. The first 5,000 individuals who sign up will also be designated as Founding Members, which will entitle them to a distinctive, light-blue member key and eligibility for discounts on future bike-related programming. Annual memberships will also allow participants to use the system exclusively before the system opens to daily and weekly users. The Commissioner was joined at a newly installed Citi Bike station on Old Fulton Street near Brooklyn Bridge Park by NYCBS General Manager Justin Ginsburgh, DUMBO Improvement District executive director Alexandria Sica, Charlie McCorkell from Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan, Karen Overton from Recycle-A-Bicycle in nearby DUMBO and Ilya Nikhamin from Redbeard Bikes, also in DUMBO.
“For less than the cost of a single monthly MetroCard, an annual Citi Bike membership gives you instant access to unlimited short rides 365 days a year,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Citi Bike will redefine what it means to get around New York City, and now is the time to upgrade to this fun, fast and safe transportation option.”
The Citi Bike system launch has been increased to 6,000 bikes at 330 stations across parts of Brooklyn and in Manhattan south of 59th Street after post-Sandy recovery operations yielded more equipment than estimated. Citi Bike stations continue to be implemented in the system service area following a multi-year outreach process totaling 400 meetings with community boards, elected officials, civic associations, property owners and other neighborhood institutions—the most publicly involved outreach process in New York City transportation history. Work continues to expand the system toward a goal of 10,000 bikes and 600 stations stretching from the Upper East and West sides to Long Island City and Sunnyside in Queens and south to Park Slope, Cobble Hill and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn.
Annual membership is ideal for many New Yorkers and complements the city’s extensive transportation network, making destinations that are longer walks from subway and bus stops—including the city’s growing waterfront communities—easier to reach. Users can purchase annual memberships online using a credit or debit card, and they will be mailed a unique electronic key that can unlock bikes from any dock in the system. Trips that are shorter than 45 minutes incur no additional charges while longer trips incur overtime fees. Citi Bike access passes for 24-hour and seven-day periods will be available after the system launches.
The number of New York City bike shops has grown from about 100 five years ago to 170 today, driven by the demand for bikes and also for helmets, light and other equipment. In addition to the $10 helmet discount coupon for annual members, DOT has distributed more than 75,000 free helmets to bike riders and is on pace to reach 100,000 distributed this year. DOT also launched advertising campaigns including to reinforce the rules of the road and to encourage that all street users look out for each other. The last five years have recorded the fewest traffic fatalities in city history, and the risk of serious injury for bike riders has dropped nearly 75% over the last decade as in-season ridership quadrupled while serious crashes remained unchanged. No pedestrians were killed in crashes with bikes. Biking is the city’s fastest growing transportation option, with DOT counts of cyclists on key commuter routes doubling from 2007 to 2011..
These education and outreach efforts reinforce DOT’s work to engineer safer streets, including the installation of more than 300 miles of bike lanes in the last five years—22 of them parking-protected, bringing the on-street bike network about 570 miles of on–street routes, plus another 200 miles of greenways and routes in parks.