NYCHA Residents Can Now Sign Up for Discount Citi Bike Memberships

New York City Housing Authority tenants are now eligible to sign up for discounted Citi Bike memberships in a program that was first announced last month. Joining the service costs NYCHA residents $60 per year, $35 less than the standard price. All 29 NYCHA properties in the Citi Bike service area have at least one station a block away or closer.

Tenants must use their NYCHA account number and date of birth to qualify for the discount. Citi Bike is open to anyone age 16 or older, although it requires a credit or debit card to sign up for the service.

Bike-share systems across the country have seen low ridership among communities of color and poorer residents, especially those without access to credit cards or bank accounts. In Washington, DC, Capital Bikeshare has partnered with a program that connects low-income people to banking institutions, while Boston subsidizes memberships for low-income residents through its public health commission.

In Minneapolis, one of the biggest barriers to low-income users looking to purchase a daily or weekly pass — a credit card “authorization hold” to safeguard against theft — was reduced and eventually eliminated after bike theft turned out not to be a problem. In New York, Citi Bike will require a $101 authorization hold.

To further lower the barriers to using bike-share, Citi Bike has partnered with credit unions serving low-income populations, known as Community Development Credit Unions, to offer a discount to credit union members. So far, Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union and NYU Federal Credit Union are participating.

Update: “We plan to do at least one outreach meeting/helmet fitting a week at a NYCHA property in the service area all summer long,” DOT spokesperson Seth Solomonow said to Streetsblog via e-mail, adding that there have been bike-share informational events at Farragut Houses, Smith Houses, Elliott Houses, and other NYCHA properties in English, Chinese and Spanish beginning in 2011.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Good for them. Hopefully there will be Citibike in the close in projects, and some labor force training there for the additional bike mechanics we’re going to need as this and other bicycle transportation expands.

  • Next: offer free Citibike memberships to high school students age 16 and older, on same terms as free student MeroCards (though the credit card/deposit arrangement may present something of an obstacle).

  • Cap’n Sensible

    Oh, please…

    How many NYCHA tenants do you really think will sign up for bikeshare? My guess is about the same number of TA members that don’t ride bikes – maybe seven or eight.

    This classic Bloombergian perc for affluent young transplants won’t last a month past the next mayoral inauguration.

  • guestnyc

    Actually, a lot of NYCHA residents bike already. Imagine living in one of the many developments along the East River in Manhattan south of 14th St. So many bike lanes, flat terrain, multiple bridges with bike paths, East River Greenway, heavy traffic, slow buses, crowded trains, lots of bike racks (both private and CitiBike), established bike culture in that area. It screams convenient way to get around.

  • Anonymous

    You haven’t seen the TA volunteers in the LES. Most of them are NYCHA residents.

    I hope you keep commenting in two months from now.

  • Cap’n Reasonable

    If you knew how many TA members own and drive cars, you’d fall out of your driver’s seat.

  • Ben Kintisch

    I own a Honda Civic, two bikes, a pair of running shoes, a pair of walking shoes, and a metro card. I signed up for bike share. It’s a new option to get around, and NYCHA residents can enjoy the flexibility and convenience of bike share at a discount.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not quite as clear-cut as Hainline’s Paradox (“Those empty bike lanes are full of killers”) but it’s nonetheless a curious line of thought: “Bikes are for children or people who can’t afford cars–and that’s why I oppose all this bike stuff that only benefits the rich!”

  • carma

    not to brag. but i own 2 cars AND 2 bikes AND i live outside the phase 1 citibike service area. and i was one of the first 5000 to sign up.

    this crazy week running around midtown has my legs beat. i cant wait for this bike share in about a week.

  • Ari

    Good idea. But there is still the liability question. What happens when one of those students doesn’t return the bike. Someone’s gotta pay the $1000 replacement cost.

  • Anonymous

    I understand that the people running Agenda 21 gave JSK a B-2 bomber and a WAH-64 Apache Longbow attack helicopter–and even she signed up for bike share!

  • Ari

    Perhaps NYCHA residents won’t sign up at the same rate as their non-NYCHA neighbors. At least DOT is doing a decent job reaching out to them.

    As to your last comment, I have two rebuttals. First, the city has a contract with Bike Share that certainly lasts more than a year (not sure how long). Second, I simply disagree with the sentiment. But perhaps you’re just trolling.

  • Anonymous

    One car, about to buy another, and 6 bikes (1 wife’s), I also leave outside of phase 1 and I signed up early too 🙂 So yeah!

  • Yes, it would have to be on a parent’s credit card, and that would shut out some people.

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