Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bike Sharing

Early Adopters Take NYC Bike-Share for a Spin

X and X unlock their first bike-share bikes on Allen Street, near Rivington Street on the Lower East Side.

Today, New Yorkers turned out under sunny skies to try out bike-share for the first time. Citi Bike went live at 11:00 a.m., but a few New Yorkers discovered that their keys were working at some stations before the official start time this morning. By noon, it was easy to spot people pedaling bright blue bikes without being on the lookout for them.

Opening day hasn't been without hiccups: Bike availability data has been offline since the system launched this morning, leaving mobile applications rendering empty maps. Although the Citi Bike website is not displaying stations right now, DOT's map will help you find the nearest bike-share station today. While bike availability information is unlikely to be a serious issue on the first day users try out the system, knowing how many bikes and docks are open will be essential info as more people use Citi Bike.

On the last day of a holiday weekend, though, the bike-share users I spoke to were simply enjoying the system. Josh Watson used his first bike-share ride this morning to go from his home in Fort Greene to the gym in Brooklyn Heights. "I like the fact that I can take it to work in the morning and not take it home if I don't want to," he said, contrasting it to riding a personal bike. "It's much more flexible."

Chris McNally of Crown Heights, who won her Citi Bike membership in a silent auction at last September's fundraiser for Streetsblog and Streetfilms, also cited the program's convenience. "I take the train into Manhattan at least once a week, but then I'm always sorry I don't have my bike. To get east-west is a big problem," she said.

Vinegar Hill resident Anton Dudley was taking his first bike-share ride on York Street. "We don't have bike storage in our building," he said, adding that he last rode a bike five years ago. "I'm very excited, actually. We're just going to get a helmet right now."

On the Lower East Side, Tom Cole was checking out a bike on Allen Street. He said the bike he owned was stolen recently. "I live in a third-floor walk-up, so I was excited about this because I don't have to worry about parking a bike on the street," he said.

Ivy Whitehead rode her own bike from her home in East Flatbush to DUMBO to try out bike-share this morning. Before moving back to her native Brooklyn, Whitehead lived in Paris. "I didn't understand why they didn't have it here," she said. "It's about time."

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Car Crashes by City Workers Cost Taxpayers $180M in Payouts Last Year: Report

A record number of victims of crashes involving city employees in city-owned cars filed claims in fiscal year 2023 — and settlements with victims have jumped 23 percent, a new report shows.

April 16, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines: Biking with a Dutchman Edition

You really get a fresh perspective on city cycling when you do it with someone from Holland. Plus other news.

April 16, 2024

City Urges Judge to Toss Anti-Open Streets Lawsuit

The city's not responsible for 24-7 car access to every street, officials argued.

April 16, 2024

Opinion: Connect the Dots of Manhattan’s Missing Bike Lanes

Only a few miles of missing protected lanes stand in the way of a robust bike network.

April 15, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: Thanking the Academy Edition

We would be remiss if we didn't offer some photos and copy about Friday's George Polk Awards ceremony, plus other news.

April 15, 2024
See all posts