Mesmerizing! Citi Bikes Arrive

Here it is: A bike-share station with bikes, and it’s not a photo shoot. A reader sent this shot of Foley Square across from the courts this morning.

Update: More than 850 of the 6,000 bikes are in the stations as of this morning, according to NYC DOT.

The blue bikes are a great conversation starter. After a friend of the blog alerted me to the newly docked bikes at Prince and MacDougal last night, I headed over and immediately started chatting with an older couple ogling the bikes about what sort of trips bike-share would be good for. We agreed: The closest analogy is that you’d use it like a cab.

This might be the first photograph ever taken of Citi Bikes waiting to be used. Photo: ## Wiley-Schwartz##

Here’s another one at Barrow and Hudson, via @BrooklynSpoke:

  • Carsnotcriminals

    Try doing that with 3 young kids a a weeks worth of groceries. I like bikes but its as if everyone forgot about young families. Sure taxis are ok when it’s not raining or near a shift change or rush hour but taking mass transit with young kids or riding a bike ranges from the slow/precarious to the impossible. I’m a New Yorker who pays plenty into the system, pays a parking tax, keeps the car off the street, has never retaliated when a self righteous pedestrian has kicked, spit on or slammed my hood. A small percentage of New Yorkers pay the lions share of the taxes, a high percentage of us own cars, why declare war on native car owners?

  • Anonymous

    In order to be a part of NYC’s new bike program, you need to both pay a fee and be willing to ride around on a bike which promotes Citibank, one of the oligarchic forces which has destroyed new york city and the american democracy, as well as illegally evicted millons of families from their homes. Let us hope that the logos on these propaganda bikes are defaced faster than authorities can replace them.

  • Joe R.

    I fail to see why anyone would need a car to shop in a place like Manhattan. This isn’t the suburbs where you’re going to a big box store. Plenty of stores are within easy walking distance. Get a good, strong shopping cart and you’re all set. I easily carry a week’s worth of groceries in mine. As for the kids, why not have someone mind them when you go to the store like lots of other people do?

  • Anonymous

    Here in Montreal, five years of Bixi has changed the driving habits of even cabbies and bus drivers. And this change in road behavior has demonstrated that there is far greater safety in numbers.

    A lot of the new cyclist converts meander carelessly in the middle of streets they don’t realize used to be really dangerous before Bixi arrived.

  • Greg

    4 PM Saturday update: mail came in today. Nothing from Citibike. No mail delivery Sunday or Monday. So this looks bleak.

    I called the helpline. After 5 attempts that got a busy signal, I finally got a call that connected. I’ve now been on hold on that call for 28 minutes – “all operators are busy…”

    As much as I’m trying to stay excited, I find this an extremely disappointing introduction to the system. I know, in the grand scheme of things this is no big deal, but still…

  • Clarke

    It’s actually going to happen:

  • Anonymous

    Saw some bikes to the side of Brooklyn Borough Hall this afternoon, and decided to check my seat height in advance. I’m an 8. Ready to go for Monday!

  • Anonymous

    So what do you have to say about GM and Chrysler, then, which produce some of the cars that have hogged our streets for years, and which will likely never pay back the TARP money invested in them by the US government. That company you so pillage is helping provide this system at no cost to New York City, unlike the roads and bridges that cars drive on, and its rescue made a sizable profit for the US government, which most people forget.

  • Mike

    Sad that they mailed them third class instead of first class, and caused themselves all these problems.

  • DL

    Member #611. Saturday mail has come… with no key. Very disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    Got an email today from Citi Bike reminding me to activate my key, only I still haven’t gotten it. Awesome.

  • Andrew

    What war? Most New York City households don’t own cars (and nearly all of those who do also make use of other modes), and street infrastructure is funded by car owners and non-owners alike. Yet most of the space on streets is still devoted primarily to cars.

    If you’re not planning to use bike share, that’s fine. Neither am I. But I’m not going to stand in the way of those who will find it useful.

    By the way, I don’t know who kicks, spits, or slams on your hood, but I only slam on hoods when I’m crossing the street with the legal right-of-way and a driver decides to threaten my life because he or she doesn’t feel like waiting for me to finish crossing. If you find that pedestrians are slamming on your hood with any regularity, you may want to check whether you’re yielding to pedestrians when required by law. (You can look up the details, but in brief: if the pedestrian is crossing with the pedestrian signal, or is crossing at a marked or unmarked crosswalk with no signal, then chances are you’re required to yield. If you’re making a turn, then you’re almost certainly required to yield, unless you’re facing a green arrow.)

  • Anonymous

    Try doing that with 3 young kids a a weeks worth of groceries.

    Life must be so tough for you. If you want a suburban lifestyle then move to the suburbs. If you want to live in NYC then you should expect difficulty driving from point A to point B. It’s always been that way and it will continue to be that way. It’s not bikes’ fault that driving is so unpleasurable in NYC. It’s all the other cars and trucks on the streets. I just spent the last 4 hours driving around NYC running errands so I know hot it is as well. Bikes held me up for a very small portion. The rest were peds and/or cars and trucks.

  • Greg

    So, as a mail non-receiver, I just got back from the Sunset Park warehouse to pick up my key in person.

    The guy behind the counter was very nice (kudos to the staff) and the process was a 1-minute piece of cake. It was also really neat to literally walk into their warehouse and see mountains of bikes in various states of readiness for shipping out. All my personal concerns are now alleviated. I am content.

    But there was a woman right outside trolling for the Post. As soon as I left she walked up to me, identified herself with the Post, and immediately threw interview questions at me, e.g: “How far did you have to come from to get your key?” It’s incredibly stupid, but they’re clearly running with this.

    I declined to answer the questions. But I’m sure they’ll get some quotes from others who weren’t ready to get accosted on their first step out.

  • Anonymous

    I love the idea that you’re, like, all righteous and stuff that you’ve never retaliated against people who’ve kicked your car or spit on it or slammed (their hands?) on your hood. I mean, setting aside @Andrew_J_C:disqus’s point about the only times that’s ever happened that I’ve seen or done, it’s just amazing: basically, you’re saying you’ve never killed or seriously injured anyone with your vehicle when they’ve done something that could not possibly have hurt you in the least–and not even caused the least damage to your precious car. Such restraint! Such wisdom! Oh, how people who don’t only identify with driving pale morally beside those such as you!

  • Mighty

    You’re a total idiot! (sounds familiar?)

  • mike nutra

    Hilarious.Only a yuppie a-hole would use these rolling advertisements
    for a BANK.I hope ALL the bikes are stolen or vandalized.How much did
    CitiBank pay NYC to BUY all that parking space away from car owners?
    Maybe this is Bloomberg’s way of justifying those asinine bike lanes,
    which see little use, have added to traffic congestion and create a
    second crossing hazard for pedestrians.Come on kids! Breakout the spray
    paint and paint those CitiBikes!

  • Anonymous

    How much did CitiBank pay NYC to BUY all that parking space away from car owners?

    Exactly. Car owners in this city pay . . .

    Oh that’s right, they don’t pay for on-street parking in most (if not all) of these neighborhoods. Their parking, in fact, costs the city a lot of money.

    But of course the spots are still *really* theirs, by the Inevitability Theory of Absolute Car Dominion.

  • Anonymous

    the money than vanished from the world economy due to Citibank’s crimes is many times more than the pittance they’re spending on these bikes.

    Citibank is a criminal organization that operates ABOVE THE LAW.

    as for GM and Chrysler i’m no fan of theirs either.

    you’ve forgotten their crimes! you don’t care. because they’ve shilled out a few pennies for bikes.


  • Guest
  • Joe R.

    Nobody is forgetting the atrocities at the hands of big banks and brokerage houses, but at least Citibank is doing a little good here. Of course, they’ll have to do a heck of a lot more to even begin to make up for their excesses, but this is a small step in the right direction.

    Also, for what it’s worth, next time the economy tanks I doubt the banks or auto companies will be bailed out a second time. In my opinion, we should have let them fail the first time around. Yes, the recession would have been deeper and longer, but ultimately we would have a more robust economy not based on a stack of cards. By my reckoning, it looks like were setting ourselves up again for another big fall.

  • Anonymous

    Going all caps: is there any clearer indication of the strength and subtlety of one’s convictions?

    As for the rest of your argument: I’m more than sympathetic, but the reality is that you’re essentially a WalMart/Gap protester: interested in participating in the dictated public discourse about a small spectrum of the abuses of human agency out there–ones, not so coincidentally, that give evidence of a marketing-saturated mind.

    Get back to me when you care that the subway is funded in no small part by characters like Dr. Zizmor.
    One little hint of him: “In 2004, Dr. Zizmor agreed not to contest charges of negligence and not keeping adequate medical records, and was given a 3 year suspension (stayed), a 3 year probation and a $40,000 fine.” Who knows how much bad billing and much worse lies behind that? How much very direct and serious medical and financial suffering?

    And that was just the first person that came to mind when I thought of the awfulness of subway ads.

  • Ian Turner

    BTW financial market participants seem to be assuming that the banks will be bailed out a second time.

  • Anonymous

    In what way am I being brain washed by riding a bicycle sponsored by Citi?


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