NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – It’s official – the controversial and long-delayed Citi Bike share program officially hits the road on May 27.
The New York City Department of Transportation and NYC Bike Share announced Thursday that the 6,000 specially designed bikes will be at some 330 stations and ready to roll in time for Memorial Day.
Annual members will have one week of exclusive access before daily and weekly memberships start on June 2.
“Now’s the time for New Yorkers to sign up for their own keys to the city,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “More than eight thousand 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.”
There are plans to expand the share program eventually to 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
The bike-sharing program is called Citi Bike after a $41 million sponsorship from Citibank. It will be the largest program of its kind in the nation.
Thousands of people have signed up as Citi Bike founding members, paying the $95 annual fee for unlimited rides of 45 minutes.
Daily memberships will be available for $9.95 a day or $25 a week, which entitles riders to an unlimited number of 30-minute trips.
According to the DOT, the bike share program will create 170 jobs and generate $36 million in yearly local economic activity.
But the program is not without its vocal opponents. Some have blasted the city’s decision to install bike stations on landmark blocks, while others have griped about the loss of parking spots.
Some street vendors also oppose the program, arguing the bike docking stations have overtaken some of their turf.
Drivers have claimed their cars were improperly towed because of construction of the bike docks.
A handful of lawsuits have already been filed against the bike share program, as well.
For more information on Citi Bikes, click here.
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