NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Citi Bike is marking its one year anniversary on Tuesday.
Citi Bike said riders have pedaled over 14 million miles to date, but the bike-share program has had its share of issues, from controversy over the loss of parking spots to the cost for daily and hourly riders.
But the company is hoping to celebrate the positive Tuesday, ringing in its first anniversary with $1 day passes.
The nearly $9 discount will be available until midnight in an effort to encourage more people to try the bike share program which has been struggling to make ends meet.
One proposal being discussed is to raise rates for the roughly 100,000 users who pay for the $95 annual membership.
“Sometimes, several stations at one location will prevent you from getting any bikes,” said annual member Jesse Vargas. “They need to pick up the maintenance on things and be on top of things.”
Kenneth Podziba, president of the non-profit bike advocacy group Bike New York, says another problem is that out-of-towners are turned off by the frequent required check-ins.
“It’s just not working for tourists and I don’t think people anticipated that when they made their projections,” he said.
Podziba said the government needs to step in.
“It’s a public-private partnership, but what’s the public doing? There’s no public money,” he said. “How else will it survive? You can’t rely on sponsorship like Citibank and MasterCard to be there every year.”
But Mayor Bill de Blasio has made it clear that the city will not be pitching in. To make matters worse, the company reportedly owes the city $1 million for lost parking revenue as part of its contract.
Some of its workers also want more from the company, marking the anniversary Monday with a push to unionize.
In addition to the discounted day passes Tuesday, Citi Bike will also be handing out cupcakes to passersby near Citi Bike stations at 17th Street and Broadway and West Street and Chambers Street.
For more information about Citi Bike, click here.
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