NYC Bike Share is now citibike

I love bike share. I think it’s a fantastic idea and a great way to make NYC more sustainable, healthy, and livable for residents and visitors alike.

This past Monday, NYC announced that Citibank is the main sponsor for the system. And while I think it’s cute to call “The City’s” bike share “citibike”, I have some reservations.

First, I was a little bit surprised that biking, an activity I identify with groups like Occupy Wall Street, is being branded and supported by Bankers.

Second, the pricing seems a little ironic. Only a bank-sponsored bike share would charge $85 for a 4-hour ride. And it appears others agree with me; CitiBike, NYC’s Bike Share, WIll Cost $77 For A Four-Hour Ride, New York Gets Bikeshare For Free, Still Charges Through The Nose, and New York’s expensive bikeshare.

But let’s be honest, if I pay $95 in July when citibike goes live, I’ll be able to take as many 45-minute rides as I want until next July. If I only do one ride a week, that is $1.83 a ride, a lot less then a subway swipe, and if I ride twice a week, that’s less than $1.

So I’ll go on record and say that I am excited for bike share, and I am excited that more New Yorkers will be riding. I have to say I am a little disappointed that every time I ride I will be showing support for a bank that I don’t agree with. But if that’s what it takes to have bike share, so be it.

Perhaps one day the city will do a bike sponsorship program, where individual bikes can be sponsored by small businesses, artists, other brands, and give us a more eclectic bike share, one that better matches the character of New York.

Update 6/11/2012: Today the station locations went live! I’ll be able to see one from my apartment window! How exciting!

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