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Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

NSW
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Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

Incredibly excited only found out today that a share bike program is set to open in NYC in Manhattan and Brooklyn in May this year. You pay for access and then rides which are less than30/45 mins (Depending on the time of day I guess) are "free". Only downside is I guess it will be very popular. Helmets are compulsory here in Australia and we will definitely wear them, I assume they will be easy to purchase when we arrive(?)

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

I posted about this last year and it was postponed a couple of times. Let's hope they finally have their act together this time around.

NSW
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2. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

Yes, was originally supposed to start July last year but various holdups, last but not least was Sandy. Press release from December still quoting May as the launch. I hope so. I imagine this will be a wonderful way to cruise the city.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

As a visitor, you might be better served renting a bike from a local rental & tour company, if you plan to spend any time at all touring the city by bicycle. Rental bikes are better bikes for touring (over any distance) and after a certain point in time are much less expensive to use. Bike share is designed for short trips and the pricing is set to encourage lots of different users - and discourage holding the bike over an extended period (beyond 2 hours).

NYC has one of the best urban bicycle trails in the USA - which is a fact many people don't yet know, as the system is relatively new (NYC Greenway). Much of the car free trail is along the NYC waterfront - which is home to local tourist icons such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and 911 Memorial. I would also recommend checking out the new Brooklyn Bridge Park and it's surrounding area at Old Fulton Landing in Brooklyn (Great Pizza, views from Brooklyn Heights). While the Park is yet to be fully completed, there is enough infrastructure for an enjoyable visit. The views across the harbor of the Manhattan skyline and looking up from under the bridge, are amazing.

There is a rental company in the city that offers a hop on hop off rental program, which affords much of the same convenience as bike share. Their program was designed to work with water transit - essentially connecting all 5 boroughs by bicycle and boat. Since the NYC waterfront does not have the same level of mass transit as the interior of the city (subway), the bike / boat option is by far the best way to travel the waterfront in NYC. Additionally, in the last decade or so there has been the addition of at least 3 significant new parks along the waterfront - Brooklyn Bridge Park as mentioned, Hudson River Park and Governors Island. All are accessible by bike and boat and these parks are also linked to The Battery Park, Riverside Park, West Harlem Piers Park and East River Park, as the bike trail runs right through these parks and most are also accessible to water transit.

The other biking destination in NYC is Central Park. There is a rental operator at the Columbus Circle entrance to the Park and also at Tavern on the Green. Beware of street vendors who surround the park, selling rentals that are kept in off sight parking garages and locked to street poles. You would be much better served using the entity that is license by the Parks to rent bikes. You might get a "deal" off the street, but is a couple dollars worth using an inferior bike, that may also be stolen property and or taking the risk of giving some unauthorized stranger your drivers license for security on the bike?

Another option to renting is to take a local tour by bicycle. NYC has so much history and so many destinations of interest, a tour would add significant value to your experience.

Best of luck and happy travels.

Montreal
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4. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

I am very proud to say that it is a local company, Bixi, that sold this concept to New York and many other cities. It was already available in certain European cities, like Vienna, but the concept New York bought was the one from Montreal. I hope you New Yorkers, and the tourists, like it because it has been a success here. I have a stand at the corner of my street and regularly in the morning, there isn't one bicycle available because they have all gone out. Many people go to work with it or use it only to go for errands. However, contrary to Australia, the helmet is not compulsory.

Enjoy them when they will be available!

NSW
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5. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

Thanks DKW for your comprehensive info. Yes, we will probably use a range of bikes. The bike the big apple -ethnic mosaic tour looks really interesting and I like the idea of doing this first as an introduction to NY traffic and the rules for riding. Definitely thinking about Central Park so thanks for the heads up about touts. Our hotel has bikes which may be good but not sure if they will be easy to obtain. My husband is hoping to join a local bike group for a few long rides, something he was invited to do by the owner of the b&b we stayed at recently here in Australia when the guy saw the bike on the car. This was a great way to meet locals. For these rides I assume he would be hiring a bike. I like the idea of the bike share to use to complement our subway passes and would probably be using this for short trips. I am expecting we will have lovely weather in May/June.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

May and June are some of the nicest months of the year in NYC (before summer heat sets in). Using bike share to get from your hotel or center city to the waterfront would be a great application for this product. Also, running any errands or just going to and fro, as long as you are comfortable riding in city traffic is perfect for bike share (and ... as long as the system has pods conveniently located for your use.) I expect bike share will have a gradual roll out and there may not be a large working system when you arrive in late spring this year.

Check out bikenewyorkcity.com for various tour and rental options. Again, I recommend the ride over the Brooklyn Bridge to Old Fulton Landing - also called "Dumbo", and to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is right there. If it is a weekend, you can catch a free ferry with your bike to Governors Island (2 miles of car free riding...depending on construction). Ferries from Governors Island return to Brooklyn and also go direct to Manhattan, making GI essentially part of a loop if you want. If you use the rental vendor that has the hop on hop off network, you can also rent in Manhattan and leave your bike in Brooklyn, and take a subway or ferry back.

Enjoy NYC

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

Do NOT use an international credit or debit card in the NYC City Bike Share program. They will take the money from your credit card / debit card and will NOT refund it. Check out the Better Business Bureau - they do not respond to any type of approach by the BBB! When you call them, they will tell you that they have "released the hold" on your credit card, when in fact, there was no "hold", they had charged the international card. They will not provide any refund. My bank opened fraud investigation and determined that their exhibited behavior is fraudulent. Buyer BEWARE.

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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8. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

How much money did they take from your card? You are aware that this is NOT a free program and there is a CHARGE to use the bikes!

Brooklyn, NY
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for New York City
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9. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

Why would they refund your money? I don't understand. What did they charge you for?

Manhattan
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10. Re: Did you know.....Citi Bike shared bike program opens in May!

This is only a guess....you didn't understand the 30 minute limit between parking bike times. You wanted to believe it was one price for the whole day....

I say this because I often see people on citibikes riding North in Central Park at the reservoir. When I remind them how the program works and that there are no places to park up there they simply refuse to believe it.