NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new Citi Bike bicycle sharing program has surpassed 250,000 rides in less than three weeks of operation, the city announced Sunday.
Since the program was officially launched on Memorial Day, the program has added 25,000 new annual members, according to the city Department of Transportation. More than 32,000 daily and weekly members have joined in just the past two weeks, the DOT said.
Citi Bike also has exceeded 250,000 total rides, and riders have traveled nearly 700,000 miles – a distance equivalent to circling the earth 28 times.
“Barely three weeks after its debut, Citi Bike is pedaling past ridership records,” DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said in a news release. “With a quarter-million trips and counting, bike share is building momentum as thousands of New Yorkers and visitors discover this great way to get around the city.”
Citi Bike launched to annual members on May 27, and to daily and weekly members on June 2.
But despite the city’s enthusiasm, not everyone has been overjoyed with the Citi Bike project.
At a bike sharing station at Union Square, no one could take bikes out or put them back in that day, and the computer screen to operate the bike share station was dead. Yet, the Citi Bike app was indicating absolutely no problems.
In that case, the batteries at the station were dead. Citi Bike worker Juseg Reynoso said he’d had to fix the station multiple times.
He said the batteries are drained whenever the solar panels that operate the docking system do not see enough sunlight. The city Department of Transportation insisted that the stations are not affected by the weather.
The bike-share program is made up of 6,000 bikes at 330 stations in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, though eventually officials hope to expand to 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
An annual membership costs $95 and a day pass costs $9.95.
Annual members receive an electronic key to undock a bike from any station, allowing unlimited trips up to 45 minutes for an entire year without incurring any additional costs.
Daily and weekly riders are entitled to unlimited 30-minute rides for the duration of their membership.
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