NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Citi Bike is now in full gear.
The controversial bike sharing program officially opened to daily and weekly membership on Sunday.
There are 6,000 bikes docked at some 330 stations across parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn in what’s the country’s largest bike share program.
Memberships are available for $9.95 a day or $25 a week, which entitles riders to an unlimited number of 30-minute trips.
The Department of Transportation was giving away 500 free bike helmets Sunday at a party in Union Square celebrating the launch of Citi Bikes.
But the program is not without its critics. Some residents have filed suit against the bike share, while others have spoken out against the loss of parking spots.
Some city drivers have complained that they’ve been improperly ticketed when the docking stations were put in place without warning. And some street vendors said they fear the program will cut into their territory.
But city Department of Transportation officials have touted the bike share program as a way to go green and provide an opportunity to explore the city on two wheels.
Thousands of people have signed up as Citi Bike founding members, paying the $95 annual fee for unlimited rides of 45 minutes.
According to the DOT, the bike share program will create 170 jobs and generate $36 million in yearly local economic activity.
The program kicked off on Memorial Day to annual members, who enjoyed a week jump start in taking the custom bright blue bikes for a spin.
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