Citigroup sponsors new bike share program, set to start in July
The city's bike-sharing program got a makeover from its new sponsor.
Citigroup is pumping in $41 million over the next five years to splash its blue logos over 10,000 bikes on 600 stands across the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday, and MasterCard is paying $6.5 million to process customer payments. The program has been renamed "Citi bikes."
"Subways and buses don't always go where you want to go," Bloomberg said in a news conference Monday morning. “Now New Yorkers will have another option: jump on a Citi bike.”
The first bicycles will be added to city streets in July, officials said, and all 10,000 will be placed by next spring. While they were originally planned to be housed throughout midtown and parts of Brooklyn, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said they’re also slated to come to Long Island City. The transportation department said it would unveil a map with exact bike rack locations later this week.
Alta Bicycle Share, the company running the program, also unveiled membership costs for using bikes yesterday. Day passes will go for just under $10, week passes are $25 and annual membership is $95.
The program is encouraging New Yorkers only to use bikes for short trips. Riders with annual passes can borrow them as many times as they’d like for less than 45 minutes. After that, they’re charged extra — up to $145 for more than six-and-a-half hours.
Bloomberg said he’d be one of Citi bikes’ first customers.
“I will certain pay and ride a bicycle,” Hizzoner said. “Am I going to do it often? Probably not.”