Bright blue Citibikes have appeared in their thousands across NYC in the past week. For the Memorial Day launch of the new bike-share transport system, around 6,000 bright and shiny new bikes were parked wheel to wheel in 340 docking stations in prime New York real estate. Since then I have not seen the same perfectly stacked formations anywhere, so there must be a mass movement of the newly mobile in transit. On my way to the pool early this week, I encountered a couple of Citiblokes who were loading up bikes to recycle them to another station and try and balance the ‘pickup’ and ‘drop-off’ imbalance. The way it works is that you pay $10 for a day, pickup a bike, and then ride in 30 minute segments until you drop off at your destination. A buzzer goes off before the 30th minute to ( hopefully ) give you enough time to find a station and park, wait for one minute, and then resume riding. If you are late docking you get charged overtime. ( This is a bank sponsored venture after all. ) So it seems the bikes are designed for structured riding rather than leisurely exploring.
There has been a lot of public debate about the new bikes – not just because of the perpetual juggle for space and territory in this city, but because of issues like personal rights being infringed by Citibikes denying people over 118 kilos from sharing the scheme. But this has not stopped today’s tally of more than 270,000 miles of traveling by cyclists over the past 10 days. The transport people are saying this puts them past (over) the moon with success, so looks like the Big Apple is heading for the stars now…
sounds like a great idea! i know it works well in Europe.
What a fantastic idea…saw them on the news the other night.