Sadik-Khan: NYC Bike-Share Will Launch May 27

 

It’s official. America’s largest public bike system will launch Monday, May 27, DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced at a City Council transportation committee hearing this morning. According to the Citi Bike twitter feed, the first week of service will be available for annual members only, then on June 2 weekly and daily passes will go on sale. (Here’s a look at the initial system map and the pricing structure, if you need a refresher.)

So in less than three weeks, the wait will be over. The empty-dock phase will give way to the real transportation system phase, and New Yorkers will see what bike-share is all about.

We’ll fill in any additional details about today’s announcement as they become available.

Update: To get a member key in time for launch day, you need to sign up by May 17. In a statement, Sadik-Khan said that more than 8,000 annual members have signed up so far.

Photo: Ben Fried
  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Giddy

  • I’ll be visiting that weekend and leaving that evening. Do you know if I can get a day pass on the 27th to try it out?

  • Question: What will your Disqus username be after the clock strikes midnight on May 27?

  • J

    Sounds like the answer is no. You have to wait an additional week for casual use to become available. I’m not sure if this is a standard practice for bike share launches, or something done to drum up hype.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    I don’t think I will ever use the internet again. I will be too busy exploring New York, spending money at dock-adjacent businesses and enjoying all the now easily accessible neighborhoods.

    Or maybe I will just be Anxiously Awaiting High Speed Rail…

  • YIMBY

    Get your lawsuits in while you can, NIMBYs! What looks totally ridiculous now will look even more absurd by June when your wild predictions about the end of NYC as we know it fail to pass.

  • Anonymous

    People suing over bike racks. Many of whom are self-professed liberals too. Suing over bike racks. I’d be embarrassed.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    I am guessing it is to work out any bugs that are to be expected with a large-scale public launch of any technology.

    Because there is no on-site payment for annual members (i.e. they paid for the year in advance), it narrows the number of things which could have bugs in the first week.

  • Ben Kintisch

    You might be anxious for a while. I think it will be up and running in California….in a decade if they’re lucky?

  • Ben Kintisch

    Hooray! Hooray! I’m thinking that not only am I thrilled that this is coming, but also thinking that while empty docks look kind of weird and ugly, they make more sense to passers-by when they are filled with bikes. I predict once the system is running, there will be a continual surge in annual memberships as people see how it works.

  • Anonymous

    Great news. Does anyone know if and when the bikeshare locations in Williamsburg/Bushwick and eastern Bedford Stuyvesant are slated to open?

  • Ari

    I heard a rumor that some portion of the first members will get to “ride out” all the bikes from the depot to all the stations. Is this true? If so, what number do you need to be a par of that. I think I’m #2900 or something.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. And further, they’ll see normal people using them. Not “Lycra wearing speed demons,” nor just “ethnic delivery guys” which, rightly or wrongly, many NY’ers do not identify with. No, it’ll be their neighbors, friends and family. It’ll be old ladies going to play bridge. It’ll be working class folks trying to save time getting across town. It’ll be hip chicks wearing wayfarers and poodles in the basket. The democratizing effect of bikeshare is what I’m most looking forward to. No longer, will the Marcia Kramer’s be able to label as “Others,” because we are everyone.

    I was hooked by Critical Mass DC. I had a car in DC but parking was always the biggest pain. I had always thought bikes were stuff for kids. And there they were, just riding along, ringing bells and so happy. And I was like fuck it, why not. DC’s a small city geographically and every where I go is within a 2-3 mile radius. That was 7 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.

  • bikesforall

    First week only for annual pass holders is a bad idea. When a new transit line opens, often it is free for everyone in the first week, not restricted to people willing/able to pay a big up front cost. The way they are doing it comes across as elitist, which is exactly the stereotype bike infrastructure needs to shake.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Maybe second phase.

  • Anonymous

    There’s no practical way to open this up for free. Even the best-case scenario would restrict it to people with credit cards. A week’s testing of a new mode of transportation across so wide an area strikes me as reasonable.

    And I’ll go to my grave not understanding how bike infrastructure can be perceived as elitist, though you’re certainly right that it is.

  • Anonymous

    In December, the word was that the remainder of the original 420 stations are scheduled by the end of 2013: http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/03/28/new-map-shows-initial-bike-share-spring-rollout-to-skip-parts-of-brooklyn/

  • Guest

    It’s just one week. I think this won’t matter in a very short amount of time.

  • carma

    8000 members were willing to pony up the costs even before any bikes. i really think that opening free would be a bad idea as you might overload the system and folks may give up completely on this

  • carma

    while i think there will be definitely a 2nd and 3rd phase. im anxiously awaiting a 4th and 5th phase where the entire city is filled with bike share stations

  • J

    I think it’s only the first 500 members, if I recall correctly.

  • Peter

    Just give High Speed Rail job to Sadik Khan and Elon Musk and you will have it built in 2 years.

  • I’m going to guess that Alta will spend that first week double checking that the receipt printers in the docking stations are all functional, before letting people use credit cards to start them. Unfortunate, but necessary.

  • Ari

    At this point in time, many of best biking areas are also some of the most expensive to live in. That could have something to do with the elitist sentiment.

  • khalil

    Awesome. Best of luck to the new Bikeshare system.

  • Joe R.

    Same here. Right now it’s not worth my while to buy a pass because I would seldom be using the system. If/when it comes to near where I live, I’ll be happy to buy into it.

  • Guest

    I hope it gets extended to Hoboken and Jersey City.

  • Anonymous
  • Miles Bader

    Elon Musk seems to be both a carhead and rather dismissive of HSR (remember his vague handwavy “hyperloop” blather?).

    JSK might be a real asset though, with her amazing political adroitness … with all CAHSR’s political problems, they really need someone who can navigate those unfriendly waters without losing sight of the goal…

  • guestnyc

    I can understand the problem with separate bike share systems in the same metro area. You’ll need a separate subscription to participate although though you may live right outside the city and enter often (I.e. Hudson County residents). That or pay the high one time use fee.

    Capital Bikeshare for instance expands beyond DC city limits.

  • Guest

    Since it is difficult to take a bike across the river on transit, it would be helpful if you could drop one off and pick one up on the other side…

  • Guest

    Since it is difficult to take a bike across the river on transit, it would be helpful if you could drop one off and pick one up on the other side…

  • david

    Saw a beast in person today, guy told me they weight 45 pounds! omg

  • cat

    is new york city the only city (citi) thus far that has a commercialized component to the bike share as in citibike?

  • Ian Turner

    New York and London (Barclays Cycle Hire) are the only two systems named after a sponsor. However, a large number of systems include the name of the operator in the name of the system. The most common examples of the latter are B-cycle and nextbike.

  • Daphna

    I do wish it were a full launch on May 27th instead of a preview week just for people who purchased an annual membership prior to May 17th. Hopefully there will be no delays with the full launch on June 2nd that will include daily, weekly, and annual members who bought after May 17th. I hope as Guest writes, that the one week separation between preview week and full launch will not make a difference in the long run. I am worried it will create some frustration in the short run.

    I wish Alta and the DOT had referred to June 2nd as the launch and May 27th as a “preview week” or “partial launch”. Calling May 27th a launch, when it is actually a limited use period, is the problem; different wording would have been better. (But then the actual launch would not have been in May as promised and they would have risked criticism for missing their target date again.)

  • david

    Interesting fact: Minneapolis bike share was funded at least in part with monies from a settlement w big tobacco.

  • Daphna

    The Citibike website describes May 27th as a preview week rather than a launch which will help avoid confusion.

    On WNYC on Sunday they announced that over 9,000 people have already signed up for annual memberships.

    On the station map, there are stations marked in blue and others marked in gray. Unfortunately I assume the stations marked in gray (Long Island City, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Bed/Stuy) will not be installed for this May/June start.

    It was supposed to have been a 10,000 bike / 600 station launch in spring/summer 2012 going up to 72nd Street in Manhattan. But difficulties in finding a sponsor delayed bike construction and thus the launch was scaled back to a planned 7,000 bikes / 480 stations going up to 59th Street in Manhattan. Then a dispute with the software provider and a switch to a new software provider who had programming problems delayed it further. Then Storm Sandy damaged 2,000 bikes in October 2011 thus causing another delay and scaling back. Now it is a launch with 6,000 bikes / 330 stations.

    When will the rest of the stations be installed to bring it up to 480 (which would include all the stations in gray on the map in Brooklyn and Queens)?

    When will the rest of the stations be installed bringing it up to 600 (which would include Manhattan up to 72nd Street)?

  • Boris

    Large parts of the city won’t be ready for bikes, or any other livability improvements, for that matter, until the suburban zoning rules that govern them are changed. Right now the city pushes an anti-urban agenda in most of Staten Island and large parts of Brooklyn and Queens. We can’t talk of bike share until we stop removing bike lanes, widening streets, and building absurd amounts of surface parking.

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