Citi Bike Announces 4 Percent Increase in Annual Membership Fee

Could the relatively minimal increase in fees be a sign that things are starting to look up for Citi Bike? Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Citi Bike announced today that it will increase the cost of annual membership from $149 to $155, or 4 percent, effective March 1. The $60 annual fee for NYCHA residents will not change, nor will the option to pay for annual membership in monthly installments of $14.95. In an email to members, Citi Bike emphasized that annual subscribers will get access to a larger service area as hundreds of new stations come online.

This year’s price hike is much smaller than last year’s. When new ownership took over Citi Bike in 2014, a condition of the deal with the city was that the annual fee would rise from $95 to $149. The agreement also limited future price hikes, tying the maximum allowable increase to the rate of inflation.

Since then, Citi Bike reworked its software and hardware, refurbished its bike fleet, and expanded its reach, adding more than 100 stations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. About 200 more stations will be added in the next two years.

The modest fee increase doesn’t tell us much about Citi Bike’s finances, but ridership and membership have been on the rebound after declining in 2014 and the first half of 2015. The number of active annual members fell to 80,885 last July, according to the company’s public data, then shot up to 91,901 by November.

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