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Bloomberg Says Market Will Decide Success Of Bike Sharing Program

Citi Bike Rolls Out Memorial Day With 6,000 Bikes At 330 Stations
A Citi Bike station in Manhattan (file/credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

A Citi Bike station in Manhattan (file/credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the market will determine the success of the city’s ambitious bike-sharing program which is set to roll out on Memorial Day.

More than 9,000 people who have signed up for the program will be able to ride starting Monday. The bikes will be available to anyone starting June 2.

An annual membership costs $95 and a day pass will cost $9.95.

The program will launch with 6,000 specially designed bikes at 330 stations and Bloomberg said the program will be expanded if it succeeds.

The bike-share program could eventually grow to 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

LINK: Citi Bike (Official Website)

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 and earlier this week some Greenwich Village residents were victims of a ticket blitz after new bike stands were installed.

A handful of lawsuits have already been filed against the bike share program, as well.

Bloomberg said on WOR Radio on Friday that anti-bike criticism “makes good theater.”

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.

According to the Department of Transportation, the bike share program will create 170 jobs and generate $36 million in yearly local economic activity.

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