Citi Bike Sharing Program – New York City (Free Day Pass)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

Update: Get a free 24-Hour Access Pass to Citi Bike with any Mastercard, which will get you unlimited short bike rentals (less than 30-minutes to avoid overtime fees) within a 24-hour period. Register by 9/30/13, use by 10/31/13.

This is pretty cool. New York City is launching a bike-share program called Citi Bike this summer (supposedly late July 2012), with 10,000 bikes and 600 stations for pick-up and drop-off. I’ve seen and used similar bike-sharing programs in Europe, and they seemed to be very practical and moderately popular. I’ve never ridden a bike in NYC, are there many bike lanes or will you be busy avoiding taxis? Combined with the subway, this makes it even easier to get around without a car.

A 24-hour membership will cost $9.95, but an annual membership is only $95 a year and will allow you unlimited trips of up to 45 minutes. A small fee applies after that to encourage you to return the bike quickly for other people to use.

Citi is the primary sponsor to the tune of $41 million and Mastercard is handling the payment infrastructure in addition to contributing $6.5 million. The program is run privately, with no public funding. I hope it works out.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. NYC is saturated with bike lanes all over the city, in all five boroughs.

  2. Darrell says:

    Ouch, $10 for 24 hours seems steep. The scheme we have in London is only £1 for 24 hours. I don’t know how much was government subsidised, but they’re ran by Barclays bank. Either way, I’m sure they’ll come in handy over there.

  3. Yeah, I think $10 for 24 hours seems too high as well, I suppose it’s just for the tourists or they are pushing everyone onto the annual plan.

    This reminded me of this timelapse video of a bike locked and left alone in NYC for 365 days.

  4. Here’s another one from my mental bookmarks:

    “The filmmaker Casey Neistat conducts an experiment in New York City, locking up his own bike and brazenly trying to steal it, to determine whether onlookers or the police would intervene.”

  5. Boston has had similar program for a year now. Same bikes painted differently and called “Hubway”. They are quite popular. I always see empty stations in downtown after 5pm.

  6. Jon in NYC says:

    Actually, ten bucks for a whole day’s a lot more reasonable than most bike rental options in New York City–I think the going rate in bike shops starts at about $30 for a day. The City does a pretty good job of documenting its extensive network of bike routes–if anyone’s interested, this link will take you to a detailed map

  7. Other North American cities have this already, at least I know Toronto did last summer. I think DC might as well.

  8. You’ve got to be crazy or delusional to ride a bicycle on the streets of Manhattan.

  9. I think driving on the streets of Manhattan is even more delusional XD

  10. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager says:

    Interesting idea. Portland just launched a car sharing program called GetAround. Think airbnb but for cars.

  11. DC’s Capital Bikeshare is the same, and it’s been a booming success here.

    The costs started a bit cheaper in DC, and they remain cheaper than NYC, I suppose due to the smaller required footprint. DC’s program is $75/yr or $7 per 24 hours. It used to be $5 per 24 hours, but just went up. Overall, when you consider the cost of a Metro fare, these bike are a great deal. Keep in mind that this program is for point-to-point transportation, NOT a day-long rental of a single bike. They place stations all over the city, so you don’t have to keep the bike and lock it up, you just park it at another station. In fact, if you keep it more than 30 minutes at a time they charge you by the hour from there.

    Here’s a good web site that talks about the success of the DC program:

  12. Yeah, I’m also in DC and I CaBi is super successful. I agree that you need to understand the model to understand the price–these bikes are not intended for leisurely rides on a Saturday, they are intended as point-to-point transportation. Most people use them for less than 30 minutes to commute and incur no charges apart from their $75 annual membership.

  13. Bikes in Manhattan? Suicidal. 🙁 When you are in a car, you can be hit, but there’s a ton of steel around you, so survival chances are way higher.

  14. I did this in Paris when I lived there for six months. It’s called VeLib. It was awesome, and they’re a huge hit. As in London, it was much cheaper, as the gov’t was subsidizing them (which is a great idea, since it reduces strain on other public transit modes — spend some money on bikes to reduce the need to buy extra buses).

    And to the complanypants whining about bike safety — bicycle accidents are in fact rare, and most car-bicycle accidents would be prevented if the cyclist followed normal traffic laws (not the “hey I’m on a bike, so I can run stop signs, red lights, etc). Following the general guidelines found here helps too:

  15. Denver has had a similar program for a few years now. It has been booming. Its called B-bike. It is a little cheaper than ghe NY program.

Speak Your Mind