What is bike share?
Bike share is an easy, affordable mode of transportation that allows users to make trips using sturdy, publicly available bikes. Bike share is mainly used for short, point-to-point trips, though it can also be used for recreational trips. Riders use bike share to supplement other transportation options, such as subways, buses, walking, and private automobiles.
Citi Bike is New York City’s bike share system.
What is Citi Bike?
Citi Bike is the bike share system available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. The system is run through a public-private partnership between New York City and Lyft. Citi Bike is a station-based bike share system. Riders unlock bikes from one station and return and lock the bike at any other station in the system, making bike share ideal for short, one-way trips.
Why does New York need a bike share system?
Citi Bike provides New Yorkers with an additional option to get around the city. A majority of all trips made on these shared bikes 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 by extending the reach of transit. Half of all of Citi Bike trips are made to get to or from a public transit station. In this way, Citi Bike is not a replacement for any single mode of transportation, but adds to New York’s diverse transportation options.
How does Citi Bike work?
Riders unlock a bike at any of the systems 2000+ stations using their a key fob or a QR code and have use of the bike for 30-45 minutes, depending on the rental trip type. Riders then dock or lock the bike at any station in the system. Users who keep the bike for longer than the allocated time are charged a small convenience fee. This ensure that bikes are available for as many riders as possible throughout the day.
For more information on Citi Bike visit the "How It Works" page on the Citi Bike website.
How big is the current Citi Bike system?
Citi Bike is the nation's largest bike share system. The system currently around 36,000 bikes and over 2000 stations, around 5 times the size of the original service area!
The system continues to grow. In 2019, the City and Lyft announced a multi-year system expansion to double the service area and triple the number of bikes to 40,000 total. Please visit the Home or the News & Events tabs to get information on expansion timelines and progress or read the press release for additional information about expansion. A map of the expansion is also available for view.
Citi Bike expands in line with Mayoral and DOT priorities. As stated in the 2023 PlaNYC report, New York City is committed to prioritizing “walking, biking and public transit,” and providing all New Yorkers access to a bike or scooter. Several neighborhoods identified as Priority Investment Areas in the DOT Streets Plan fall within the Citi Bike service area.
How much does it cost to ride Citi Bike?
Citi Bike’s pricing structure is designed to encourage short trips. Annual memberships, best suited for New Yorkers, give users unlimited 45-minute rides and cost $219.99 per year or about $18 per month.
Citi Bike also offers day passes, best suited for tourists or visitors, which cost $19 a day and includes unlimited 30-minute rides, and single rides, which cost $4.79 for one 30-minute ride. Additional fees can be applied for exceeding the time limit or using an electric Citi Bike.
E-bikes cost $0.20/minute, capped at $4 for rides 45 minutes or less that enter or exit Manhattan. Reduced Fare Bike Share Members pay $0.10/minute and non-members pay $0.30/minute.
Citi Bike also offers a discounted annual membership to low-income New Yorkers.
$5 / month membership, not an annual commitment (can cancel anytime), discounted e-bike minute rate ($0.10 / minute instead of $0.20 / minute)
- Members must be 16 or older
- Members must provide a credit, debit, or prepaid card
SNAP recipients must upload either a Statement of Benefits letter OR a screenshot of SNAP case details. To retrieve your statement of benefits or provide a SNAP Benefits Screenshot:
- Go to ACCESS HRA (nyc.gov/accesshra) and log in/create an account. (Make sure to use the website, not the app, as the app will not correctly show your name.)
- On the home page, click on View Details on the SNAP case card.
- You can take a screenshot of the SNAP case card. Make sure your name is visible in this screenshot. This is the name that will be used to verify your account.
- If you want to submit the Statement of Benefits, click Print Statement of Benefits. A PDF will open in a new window. Save this PDF. This will be the document you submit. Lyft is unable to accept anything that does not have a name on it.
NYCHA residents must provide a Housing Authority account number. NYCHA residents living in housing that has been converted to Section 8 must upload a Section 8 Voucher ID Number AND proof of NYCHA residence.
More information on enrollment: https://citibikenyc.com/community-programs/reducedfare
Who runs Citi Bike?
Citi Bike is a public-private partnership between the City of New York, represented by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), and Lyft. Lyft is a private company that owns and operates bike share systems around the country. Lyft owns, operates, and maintains the Citi Bike system and the City allows Lyft to place bike share stations in the public right of way (primarily on sidewalks and roadbeds). DOT is responsible for planning, outreach, and oversight of the system.
No taxpayer money is used to operate the Citi Bike system. Citi Bike is funded through private capital, sponsorship agreements, and revenues from memberships.
How are station locations selected?
Since 2011, NYC DOT has conducted an extensive and participatory public input process. This process involves holding interactive workshops and meeting with Community Boards, elected officials, community organizations and other stakeholders to gather input.
DOT also provides the opportunity for those who may not be able to attend a public meeting. On NYC DOT’s online feedback map, people can suggest future station locations. This public input creates a system designed by and for New Yorkers.
DOT strives to balance various uses and needs of our streets. The agency locates bike share stations using multiple criteria, including:
- sidewalk width
- parking and curb usage
- proximity to street furniture and underground utilities, and
- station density
For locations of all stations currently installed, visit Citi Bike's "Station Map" page.
Why are some stations located on the sidewalk while others are on the roadbed?
As mentioned above, DOT places bike share stations in accordance with rigorous technical siting criteria that take many factors into account, including accessibility and sidewalk width, parking, truck loading, as well as proximity to street furniture and underground utilities. Sidewalks must maintain ADA accessibility requirements (allow for wheelchair users to pass), which means a sidewalk must be a minimum of 15-feet wide to allow for station placement.Stations are sited in commercial, recreational, and residential areas to ensure equitable access throughout the service area. DOT aims to balance the various uses and needs of our streets and sidewalks.
The Citi Bike network requires a high density of stations (28 stations per square mile or one station every quarter mile within the service area) to be an effective transportation system. DOT planners look at every street for available and eligible locations and determine the best location for a station. Locations are then presented for Community Board and elected feedback, notifications go out to adjacent property owners, and collaboration occurs with other city agencies so we can connect the system with MTA stations, parks, and more. While we understand the challenge of finding on-street parking in New York City, eight publicly accessible bikes are made available to New Yorkers for each private vehicle spot. Each of those bikes is used on average four times per day. DOT aims to balance the various uses and needs of our streets and sidewalks.
Is Citi Bike safe?
Citi Bike has a strong safety record. Citi Bikes are very stable, not capable of high speeds, and are routinely maintained by professional mechanics. Citi Bikes have a number of built-in safety features, including sturdy breaks, a bell, and lights that flash as soon as the wheels start rolling. Learn more about the bike itself.
In 2019, Mayor de Blasio announced the Green Wave plan. This plan focuses on improving bicycle infrastructure, as well as education and enforcement of existing traffic rules and regulations. For detailed information on what this plan entails, please view the original report (PDF) or the February 2020 progress report (PDF), both available in the Resources tab. Additionally, please visit the Current Bike Route Projects page to learn more about DOT’s bicycle infrastructure projects.
Are helmets included?
Citi Bike does not provide helmets as part of its memberships and riders over the age of 13 are not required to wear helmets. However, the City of New York strongly encourages the use of helmets while cycling, whether on a personal bike or a Citi Bike. DOT distributes over 25,000 helmets per year through various events. Call or visit 311 for more information on being fitted for a free helmet or visit the DOT's Facebook "Events" Page.
Is there a Citi Bike app?
Yes, the Citi Bike app provides real-time information on bike and dock availability across the Citi Bike system. The app also includes trip information including a trip timer, ride history and suggested cycling routes. Single rides can also be purchased through the Citi Bike app.
Memberships can be purchased through the apps and riders can unlock bike via app or QR code.
Does Citi Bike offer e-bikes?
Citi Bike does offer Class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes for rent. The speed is currently maxed at 20 mph and has a maximum distance of ~35 miles. Please click here to read more about e-bike safety in New York City.
What role does Citibank play in operating or planning Citi Bike?
Citibank is the title sponsor of Citi Bike. Citibank does not advise in any aspect of the planning or operation of Citi Bike.
What kind of data does the system generate, and who can access it?
Data on when and where each Citi Bike is checked out and checked back in is available to the public. All data 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 data can be found at Citi Bike's System Data page.
What kind of jobs does Citi Bike create?
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 administrative staff, Citi Bike is always looking for people to help run the system.
Please visit Citi Bike’s website to view their current job listings.
Who do I contact if I have an issue with my Citi Bike account?
Please contact Lyft’s Citi Bike 24-hour call center at (855)-BIKE-311 first. If you have ongoing issues with their customer service, you are welcome to flag for our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 311. If you reach out to us in this way, you MUST include your Citi Bike account number or we will not be able to trace the issue.
Who will maintain and clean the stations?
Lyft is responsible for maintaining and cleaning the stations. DOT has strict performance standards regarding the maintenance and cleanliness of Citi Bike stations, bicycles, and the surrounding area. Each station is cleaned at least twice per month, and litter is removed frequently. DOT monitors each station to maintain those strict performance standards. If you observe any issues with the station—such as excess trash— please share by emailing email@example.com or calling the Citi Bike 24-hour call center at (855)-BIKE-311. This number is displayed on every station, and issues reported will be resolved promptly.