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Lyft Hikes Citi Bike E-Bike Fees for Second Time This Year

Citi Bike e-bike rides will get more expensive for annual members starting July 10 — the second time Lyft has hiked its prices this year.

What will diner patrons think of this one?

Citi Bike e-bike rides will get more expensive for $219.99-per-year annual members starting July 10 — rising to 24 cents per minute from 20 cents per minute, a 20 percent price hike, Lyft said.

An e-bike ride in and out of Manhattan, meanwhile, will cost $4.80 — up from $4.36 now and $3.27 as recently as last year, the company said.

The price hike marks the second time this year that Lyft has jacked up the price for bike-share members to ride pedal-assist electric bikes. In January, the price of an e-bike ride for members went from 17 cents per minute to 20 cents per minute.

Lyft pinned the recent increase on costs for insurance, vehicles and battery swapping, which the company said rose faster than it budgeted for this year. E-bike rides now account for two-thirds of the total rides across the system now, even higher than the 46 percent of total rides they provided last year, Lyft said.

E-bike batteries are still swapped out manually by teams that drive around in trucks. In May, Lyft and the Department of Transportation debuted the first Citi Bike station with docks directly plugged in to the power grid, a setup that allows e-bikes to get recharged while docked which can reduce the costs of battery swapping and keep the bikes available to the public. A second station connected to the grid launched in Greenpoint in June.

Eventually, Lyft and the DOT want to connect 20 percent of the system's total stations to the power grid — but the rollout was supposed to begin late last year, so it is already delayed.

It's more expensive than ever to be Dave Colon an on e-bike.

Unlike other cities and regions of the country like Washington, DC and California, New York City doesn't give public subsidies to bike share, instead allowing the private half of the public-private partnership to soak its users.

As a result, membership and e-bike prices in the nation's capital are just $95 per year and 10 cents per minute, while Bay Wheels members in California pay $150 per year for a membership and 15 cents per minute for e-bikes.

Mayor Eric Adams was one of five Democratic candidates in 2021 to endorse the idea of subsidies for bike share, but for three consecutive budgets he has not followed through on the idea.

A recent report from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority found that directing a fraction of a statewide mass transit subsidy to bike share could provide huge amounts of support to the systems across the state, including $51 million per year for Citi Bike.

City officials did win one pricing victory for riders in their contract negotiations with Lyft last year — under the new terms, all future price hikes for e-bikes are limited to the annual consumer price index plus 2 percent.

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