Monday, June 3, 2013

Citibike launches in NYC

Citibike officially launched in New York City yesterday (June 2nd) with 10,000 bikes and 600 stations in Brooklyn and Manhattan.  The program is beginning with daily and weekly passes, as well as annual memberships.

The launch seemed to be somewhat successful, with over 2,500 day passes sold on Sunday.  However, there seems to be a lot of concern with the price of the passes, as the people who could benefit the most from the program are those who are in lower income brackets.  While some people are just not thinking about how much more affordable it is than using public transportation for the same period of time, there is still talk about creating an income-based annual pass.  It would be roughly 35% lower in cost than the regular pass and would offer a four-installment payment plan, allowing more people to access the benefits of an annual pass.

Personally, I feel that the annual pass is the only way to go if you were going to use the program.  The day and weekly rates could add up very fast, where it would almost be more beneficial to buy your own bike.  Also, being that I would be a tourist using this program when visiting NYC, I would not want to be limited to 30-minute trips with the weekly or daily passes.  I think I would prefer to find a bike store that rents with unlimited use for the week.

But, for the sake of lowering the amount of daily car trips, I think the program is going to have a strong presence in the city, as it has in other cities, while providing more affordable transportation for lower-income residents.

Brown, Lester. "Dozens of U.S. Cities Board the Bike-Sharing Bandwagon."TreeHugger. TreeHugger, 3 June 2013. Web. 03 June 2013.

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