Frequently Asked Questions

What is bike share?

Bike share is an easy, affordable mode of transportation allowing users to make trips using sturdy, publicly available bikes. New York City’s bike share system, Citi Bike, is part of a public-private partnership with a company called Motivate, and their local subsidiary New York City Bike Share, LLC (NYCBS). Citi Bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system, making bike share ideal for short, one way trips.

How does bike share work?

Bike share is designed for short point to point trips. Currently, users can join Citi Bike by purchasing an annual or short-term membership. For short-term memberships (24-hour or three-day passes) users can sign up at any kiosk or via the Citi Bike app using a credit card. Annual members can enroll online and will receive a key in the mail. Once a membership has been purchased, users can unlock a bike from any station in the system and return it to any other station in the system. 

Riders are limited to 30 minute trips for short-term members and 45 minute trips for annual members to ensure that bikes are available for as many users as possible throughout the day. While the average Citi Bike trip is less than 15 minutes long, the bikes can be kept out for longer rides, but additional fees beyond the 30 or 45 minute allowance will apply. Users can take an unlimited number of trips throughout the period of their membership. For more information visit Citi Bike’s “How It Works” page.

Why does New York need a bike share system?

Bike share provides New Yorkers with more options for getting around the city. A majority of all trips made in the City are less than two miles. Bike share gives New Yorkers a cheap, easy, efficient and fast option for these trips by providing ready access to a bike, without having to worry about storage or maintenance.

Bike share also leverages the City’s great mass transit system – 50% of Citi Bike trips are made to get to or from a public transit station — and extends the reach of transit into areas that don’t have great subway coverage, like waterfronts. As Mayor de Blasio has said, “Citi Bike has become part of our public transportation system.”

As cities all over the world have discovered, bike share programs are used by a wide range of people for an almost infinite variety of trips. In New York, where a majority of trips are under two miles, bike share is useful to almost everyone – New Yorkers trying to get across town, commuters traveling to or from neighborhoods with fewer subway stations, students getting from dorms to classrooms, people who live a long walk from subway or ferry stations, and tourists moving between the City’s vast array of attractions.

When will bike share come to my neighborhood?

Citi Bike has expanded to 12,000 bikes at approximately 750 stations, representing a doubling in size since system launch in 2013. While there are currently no plans to grow the system beyond the boundaries of the current service area, DOT hopes to bring bike share to more communities in the future and is evaluating the latest technology developments in the bike share industry including dockless bike share to understand how the City can best serve New Yorkers. 

On December 15th, NYC DOT released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), to solicit opinions, research and knowledge from all interested parties to investigate the feasibility of dockless models of bike share in areas of New York City not currently served by Citi Bike. The RFEI seeks information, expertise, equipment and software from the bike share industry to potentially implement a dockless pilot and/or series of dockless pilots in the outer boroughs. Submissions for the RFEI must be received no later than 5:00 PM NYC time on March 15, 2018. The complete RFEI can be found here.

What is dockless bike share?

Like Citi Bike, dockless bike share is a network of publicly available bikes designed for short point to point trips. Dockless bike share models are different from Citi Bike in that the models use free-locking bikes that are GPS-enabled and unlocked using a smart phone. Free-locking bikes eliminate the need for docking stations, and can be parked and rented from any point within the boundary of a network.

Is bike share safe?

Yes, Citi Bike has an extremely strong safety record. Citi Bike bikes are very stable, not capable of high speeds, and are routinely maintained by professional mechanics. Citi Bike bikes have built in safety features, such as sturdy breaks, a bell, and lights that flash as soon as the wheels start rolling. Learn more about the bike itself here. Data from London and Washington show that people riding shared bicycles are involved in fewer crashes and receive fewer injuries than people riding their own bikes. A recent Hunter College study has shown that Citi Bike riders are some of the safest cyclists on the road.

Cycling in general has never been safer in New York City. In the last decade annual bicycle trips rose 150%, while cycling injuries and fatalities have fallen or remained flat. Mayor Bill de Blasio has framed the central element of the City’s transportation policy to be Vision Zero, which seeks to reduce to zero the number of people killed or seriously injured due to road crashes. The growth in cycling coincides with expanded bike share network and launch of the Citi Bike program.

The City has added over 308 lane miles of conventional bike lanes since 2010, and more than 74 protected lane miles, which has made NYC streets much safer for cyclists. Researchers in the field of traffic safety posit that the more cyclists there are on the road, the safer riding becomes for all cyclists. The correlation between the rise in cycling trips and the drop in the number of cyclists killed and severely injured per bicycle trip suggests that this “safety in numbers” dynamic may be occurring in New York City. As part of Vision Zero, Mayor de Blasio’s multi-agency effort to eliminate severe traffic injuries and fatalities, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH), and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) have undertaken the first comprehensive analysis of cyclist safety since 2006. You can download the Safer Cycling report by visiting Resources.

Are helmets included?

No, helmets are not included as part of a Citi Bike membership and helmet sharing is not a practical part of the system. However, the City of New York strongly encourages the use of helmets. All annual Citi Bike members receive a voucher reducing the price of a bike helmet by $10 from participating bike shops. Citi Bike has also partnered with Bike and Roll who offers 1-day helmet rentals from any of the Bike and Roll locations.

In addition, DOT continues to distribute free helmets – over 180,000 have been given away to New Yorkers since 2007. Call 311 for more information on being fitted for a free helmet or visit the DOT Helmet Fitting - Distributions Events page here. New York State law requires helmets for bicyclists age 13 and under.

Who is running Citi Bike?

Citi Bike is a public-private partnership between the City of New York, represented by NYC DOT and Motivate, a private company that owns and operates bike share systems around the country. In New York City, Motivate has a local subsidiary, New York City Bike Share, LLC (NYCBS), which oversees all the operations of the program. As part of the agreement the City allows Motivate to utilize the public right of way (the street, sidewalk or plaza) to place Citi Bike Stations in exchange for Motivate providing the service of a reasonably priced, flexible bicycle transportation system for New Yorkers. No tax payer monies are used to fund the Citi Bike system.

Who can use Citi Bike?

Citi Bike is available to everyone 16 years old and older. Memberships can be purchased with a credit or debit card.

Is Citi Bike open year-round?

Yes. Citi Bike is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In the event of inclement weather conditions that may make cycling hazardous, NYCBS will temporarily shut down the system. The system will reopen as soon as the weather permits. NYCBS is responsible for station cleaning and snow removal.

How much does a Citi Bike membership cost?

Current pricing information is available at Citi Bike’s pricing structure is designed to encourage short trips. A membership entitles users to take as many trips as they want during the length of their membership, either annual or short term.

Are there discounted memberships available?

Yes, for just $5 per month New Yorkers living in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) housing and members of participating Community Development Credit Unions can purchase annual memberships. Please visit the Citi Bike NYCHA membership page and the CDCU membership page for more information.

Any New Yorker with an IDNYC card can receive 15% of their first annual membership purchase, and Citi credit or debit cardholders are eligible for 10% off their annual membership.

Department of Education employees are eligible for $25 off their first year of membership.

How are station locations selected?

Beginning in 2011 and continuing today, the New York City Department of Transportation conducted an intensive and participatory public input process. This process involves holding interactive workshops and meeting frequently with Community Boards, elected officials, community organizations and other stakeholders to gather input. Additionally, DOT provides the opportunity for those who may not be able to attend a public meeting to give feedback through an interactive siting map where citizens can suggest future station locations throughout the City. This method of planning allows for a system truly designed for New Yorkers, to meet New Yorkers needs. Station locations are tailored to what we hear from communities.

How big is the current Citi Bike system?

By the end of 2017 the system will have expanded to include 12,000 bikes at approximately 750 stations. That’s double the size of the system at launch in 2013!

Is there an app to find Citi Bike stations?

Yes. The Citi Bike app provides real-time information on bike and dock availability in New York City and New Jersey, trip information including a trip timer, ride history and suggested cycling routes. Short-term memberships can also be purchased through the Citi Bike app.

Available for iOS and Android.

What kind of data does the system generate, and who can access it?

Data on when and where each bike is checked out and checked back in is available to the public in an anonymized format. A real time data feed, monthly operating reports, and daily ridership and membership data broken down quarterly are also available. All these data sources can be found at

Who is paying for bike share in New York?

Citi Bike is funded through private capital, sponsorship agreements, and revenues from users. Sponsorship and revenues cover the entire equipment and operations cost of the system. NYC Bike Share does not receive any taxpayer or federal-aid dollars.

How was Citi Bank selected as the title sponsor?

After being selected as the system operator, New York City Bike Share LLC (NYCBS), and subsidiary of Motivate, put out a call for sponsors. NYCBS, supported by City government, was in contact with companies around the world to discuss the project and solicit interest from potential sponsors. Through this process Citi Bank was selected as the title sponsor for 10 years.

What kind of jobs is Citi Bike bringing to New York City?

Citi Bike has created many new jobs in New York City and will continue to do so as the system expands. From bicycle mechanics to call center operators to marketing and administrative staff, Motivate is always looking for good people. Motivate is headquartered in Brooklyn and operates all aspects of the program from New York City. Find out more about career opportunities at Motivate here: