Citi Bike offering free monthlong membership to NYCHA residents, SNAP recipients

Eligible NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients can pick up a gift certificate for a free month of Citi Bike membership at any of the 55 libraries in Citi Bike's service area. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Eligible New Yorkers can pick up a gift certificate at one of the 55 libraries in Citi Bike’s service area.

Eligible NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients can pick up a gift certificate for a free month of Citi Bike membership at any of the 55 libraries in Citi Bike's service area.
Eligible NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients can pick up a gift certificate for a free month of Citi Bike membership at any of the 55 libraries in Citi Bike’s service area. Photo Credit: Todd Maisel

Citi Bike is offering a free month of membership to NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients beginning Monday.

Eligible New Yorkers can pick up a gift certificate for the free month at one of the 55 libraries in Citi Bike’s service area — part of a collaboration between the Lyft-owned bike share and the city’s New York, Brooklyn and Queens library systems.

The promotion comes as Citi Bike celebrates the one-year anniversary of its Reduced Fare Bike Share program, which offers no-commitment $5 monthly memberships for NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients.

“The benefits are really broad: It’s everything from saving money from transportation, substituting train rides or bus rides with Citi Bike; running errands or using it as a form of exercise,” said Anne Krassner, Lyft’s equity and community programs manager.

The reduced fare program aims to increase equity and accessibility at the bike share, which some had come to negatively associate with wealth due to Citi Bike’s initial limited service area in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

In one year, more than 7,000 people have tried out Citi Bike through the reduced fare program, with more than 3,400 active riders, according to the bike share — though that number is just a fraction of Citi Bike’s roughly 150,000 annual members.

The bike share said it wants to spread the word of the program as it begins its massive, 35-square-mile expansion to bring Citi Bike to all of Manhattan, parts of the Bronx and deeper into Brooklyn and Queens. The larger footprint will mean 70% of NYCHA residents will live within the service area — up from 40% currently.

The gift certificate will allow riders to sign up online for a free month using their NYCHA account or EBT number and allow them to opt to continue at a $5 monthly. But if a reduced-fare membership lapses, it can be reactivated for another 30-days by just taking another trip in the city.

Vincent Barone