Skift Take

Citi Bike, like its home city, is among the largest in the world, and a successful launch with local pick-up would see the system expand to all five boroughs with the potential for changing the way NYC moves.

New York City’s new bike-share program Citi Bike officially launched this morning at 11 AM and there are already more than 17,550 New Yorkers signed up with annual memberships.

With 6,000 blue bikes filling the streets today, New York is already the largest bike-share in America. Although this pales in comparison to several bike-share programs abroad, it is nearly six times the size of the capital’s established system.

New York is also one of the most expensive bike-shares to join. An annual members costs $103.43 (with tax) and provides bikers with 45-minutes of free ride time. Drop the bike off just 5 minutes over that and riders will be charged $2.50, a small fee that could quickly add up over several rides.

Forty-five minutes with a $2.50 overtime fee is the average among U.S. bike-share programs. Miami bike-share members are charged $4 for any time over thirty minutes, but Houston riders are only charged $2 after an hour.

Bikers can also re-dock their bikes for anywhere between 15 seconds (in DC) and 5 minutes (in Chattanooga) before taking it out for another free spin.

“The [bike-share] system is set up so that people never really have to incur fees,” explains Nice Ride Minnesota Marketing Director Anthony Ongaro to Skift.

NYC Bike Share will attempt to contact new riders that don’t fully understand the concept of short rides. The NYC rental agreement states:

Any use that exceeds a period of 24 consecutive hours is deemed a disappearance of the Citi Bike bicycle… NYCBS will attempt to contact Member via telephone and email before charging the Member’s credit or debit card, by using the contact information provided by Member when subscribing to the Services.

Going beyond annual membership fees, we’ve compared how long other U.S. bike-share members get to ride for free and what fees they pay for a few minutes of overtime or a lost bike:

City Annual membership fee Free trip length (minutes) Overtime fee for first 30 minutes Lost/stolen bike fee
New York City (Citi Bike) $95 45 $2.5 $1,200
Washington, DC (Alta) $75 30 $1.5 $1,000
Boston (Alta) $85 30 $1.5 $1,000
Anaheim, CA (Bike Nation) $75 30 $1.5 x
Miami Beach (DecoBike) $180 ($15/month) 30 $4 $800
Chattanooga, TN (Bike Chattanooga) $75 60 $2.5 $1,000
Minneapolis (Nice Ride Minnesota) $65 30 $1.5 x
Houston (B-cycle) $65 60 $2 $1,200
Boulder (B-cycle) $65 60 $4.5 $1,200
Hawaii (B-cycle) $50 30 $2.5 $1,000

We’ve also compared the number of stations, bikes, and annual members in ten U.S. cities.

City Annual members Stations Bikes Launch date
New York City (Citi Bike) 17,550+ 300 6,000 May 2013
Washington, DC (Alta) 22,000* 115 1,100 September 2010
Boston (Alta) 7,000 105 1,000 July 2011
Anaheim, CA (Bike Nation) ~100 3 25 January 2013
Miami Beach (DecoBike) ~2,400 100 1,200 March 2011
Chattanooga, TN (Bike Chattanooga) 5,50 31 300 July 2012
Minneapolis (Nice Ride Minnesota) ~ 3,750 170 1,550 June 2010
Houston (B-cycle) 366 21 173 May 2012
Boulder (B-cycle) 1,000 22 150 May 2011
Hawaii (B-cycle) 57 2 16 Apirl 2011



The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: bikeshare, citibike, nyc, usa

Photo credit: Blue bikes lined up and ready for the Citi Bike launch earlier this weekend. Samantha Shankman / Skift

Up Next

Loading next stories