Citi Bike officially kicks off for early adopters Memorial Day
The unofficial start of summer will also be the official start of the city's bike share program.
The city Department of Transportation announced Thursday that Citi Bike will start on Memorial Day for the thousands who signed up for annual membership.
All other users can use the 6,000 bikes located in Brooklyn and Manhattan starting June 2.
Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said she wanted to give the early adopters a gift for their patience after waiting more than a year for the program to start.
"More than 8,000 annual members have already signed up to get a head start on the newest way to get around, and the excitement continues to build as we count down the days to launch," she said in a statement.
Despite the program's popularity, some New Yorkers haven't been too happy with the program, especially residents who say the 300 bike stations stick out like a sore thumb in their neighborhoods.
Transportation Alternatives spokesman Michael Murphy said the timing for the early start was appropriate because would help fuel the positive buzz for the program.
"May is bike month, it's the time of month that those who do commute [on bikes] encourage their friends to try," he said.
Anyone with a credit or debit card can take part in Citi Bike by going to one of the stations and purchasing a day or week pass. Once at the station, they can unlock the bike and have trips free for 30-minutes.
Annual pass members receive a key that allows them to access all stations and receive 45 free minutes. Interested bikers who sign up for annual memberships by May 17 will receive their key by Memorial Day, Sadik-Khan said.
The city has been pushing Citi Bike for years and was originally going to start it last year, however programming glitches and Superstorm Sandy setback the opening.