New York prepares for a raft of new city cyclists as Citi Bike scheme (finally) launches
Launching almost 3 years to the month since London opened the curtain on its now highly popular 'Boris Bike Scheme' (so called after Mayor of London Boris Johnson who drove the scheme forward), New York is waiting with bated breath to see how its own 'Citi Bike' Citibank sponsored scheme fares in the cut and thrust of daily New York life.
The scheme, set to match fellow cycling cities like Barcelona and London in both scope and deployment, was originally set to debut in 2012, but after some technical hitches and a hurricane that tried to drown the bike stations, wheels are finally set to roll in May of this year. With 10,000 bikes available from a hoped for 600 solar powered docking depots when the rental system expands beyond 79th street, New York commuters will be well served should they wish to try out the new transport system.
However, just like the London bike scheme, the New York Citi Bike programme is not without its 2-wheeled detractors, with complaints ranging from the farcical 'New York wasn't built for bikes' (the streets are wider than London's narrow overcrowded lanes) and the oft mentioned 'everyone who commutes already has a bike, why would they need a rental?' - a comment that if true, would have already damned every other bike scheme in the world to a quick death.
With 8.4 million residents, New York certainly will not lack for users, and with annual memberships only $95 for 45-minute rides (just like comparative schemes, it gets expensive once you ride over the set time) the stage is set for New York to not only improve on its current 16th place position in the US bike commuting ranks, but make a great leap forward in the quality of life and health of its citizens.