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Citi Bike Debuts in New York City!

Memorial Day 2013 marked a milestone in NYC transportation history: the debut of the city's bike-share system, Citi Bike. At 330 stations, 6,000 bikes (of a planned 10,000) were available to more than 13,000 members who signed up for a yearly pass - and many of them couldn't wait to hit the streets!

The press conference at City Hall was a media frenzy. Hundreds of reporters and cameras were on hand to watch Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan ring in the launch. Streetfilms was there at this historic moment and put together this fun four-minute film which features a Citibike bike share station along a protected bike lane, David Byrne telling us what he will do with bike share and the best shot anyone got of Commissioner Sadik-Khan test driving the bike at City Hall.

Clarence Eckerson, Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Iamtoddedelman Todd Edelman

    Nice, honest, sad closing words...

  • http://twitter.com/theoverheadwire The Overhead Wire

    Love the kids at the end, but yeah bummer they can't use them now.

  • Kim Wiley-Schwartz

    As their mom I can say they more than understand that a system that has 45 pound bikes and lots of responsibility tied into it requires waiting until they are older. I think what is so inspiring is that they spontaneously began to calculate the time until they could use it and to visualize biking as their main form of transportation. This morning my daughter told me she was really excited - when I asked her about what she said "Citi Bike, of course." They get it. I hope many others do as well

  • http://twitter.com/BicyclesOnly Steve Vaccaro

    Well done!

  • http://twitter.com/Streetfilms Streetfilms

    Yeah I saw grown adults wobbling on their initial voyage out of the docks. These are definitely bikes I wouldn't want to see kids using. Maybe one day Citibike minis? :)

  • Daniel S Dunnam

    Wow, that was fast! Great job! But I'm a little sad I didn't make the cut. You filmed me and a buddy riding up Chrystie St. yesterday.

  • http://twitter.com/Streetfilms Streetfilms

    Sorry about that. Lots of people didn't I couldn't fit in any more shots! Lots of characters on the cutting room floor. Maybe next time?

  • passerby

    what happens if they get a puncture while riding, do they just walk the bike to the nearest docking station?

  • Pedestrianite

    Yes. You dock the bike, press the button with a wrench symbol on it so that the system knows it needs to be fixed, and you grab a new bike.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    KiddieBike.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Beautiful and wonderful and great and super duper!

  • John K.

    It's a shame the system is so expensive for 7 day and 1 day passes. I will be visiting NYC at the end of the month and was excited to try Citibike after experiencing the wonders of Velib' in Paris, but for my three days trip I don't think I can afford it. 25 bucks is ridiculously pricey for a 7 day pass, plus the $4+ if you go over the 30 min. limit. For comparison, Velib' was 8 euro for 7 days.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    Not sure of the exact transportation requirements of your trip, but if you were to replace 3 cab rides with bike share, the weekly pays for itself. Depending on the trip and the time of day, it can easily be faster than many cab rides as well.

    Ideally it would be cheaper, but it is still pretty easy to justify for the average tourist. That being said, if it is too expensive, our subway/bus system is still pretty convenient for $2.50 a trip.

  • http://twitter.com/Streetfilms Streetfilms

    It costs me $25 to $50 in any city or island I have been to rent a bike for ONE DAY. I have no idea why $25 for a week sounds that bad. A 3 day in DC is $15. As for overage charges, you can always re-dock and get a fresh 30 minutes. Remember these bikes are meant for running errands, going crosstown, short trips, lunch, not all day or long excursions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Iamtoddedelman Todd Edelman

    The problem is that family trips by bike cannot be done with this system (the lowest age cut off I have seen for bike share is 14). It is not impossible to solve this. Of course, if bike share gets more families on bikes via the parents, that's good.

  • John K.

    Yeah, I've never taken a cab in NYC in my life (why bother with the excellent subway). Since I'm only visiting friends and family for three days, I was hoping to try out CitiBike to extend the reach of the subway, but its not priced adequately in addition to the subway fare and other transpo costs. Shame, as velib' was so marvelous.

  • Mateo

    This video is great! It was sent to me by Dan V., a huge fan of the system... he's been talking about it for a year already... (wasn't it supposed to come out last year?) and he finally tried them out yesterday. Just like a little kid in Christmas, right Dan?

  • http://stopandmove.blogspot.com/ Jass

    Citibike is not in a vacuum. When velib charges $1.50 for a day pass, and youre charging $10, something is seriously wrong.

  • Ridgewoodian

    Slight hiccup this morning. Got a bike to do the "last mile" from the train to work but when I went to dock it at the end it WOULD NOT DOCK. I tried a couple of different docks and even rode to another, nearby station. (I rode several bikes on opening day and had no problem docking any of them so I THINK I have the hang of it.) I called the help line and was informed that they had me as having docked. "Really? Great. But the bike isn't docked." They told me to leave it and they'd send a technician. They assured me I wouldn't be charged $1000.

    In a related issue - anyone figure out how to print a return receipt? I've tried, and the instructions say to insert your key, but there's no slot for a key.

    Growing pains....

  • Clarke

    Annual member here, and haven't had a single trip over 30 minutes yet. The "30 minute limit is too short" illusion is just false.

  • Andy Salkeld

    Am heading to USA early in June from the UK and looking forward to seeing New York by Citibike !!

  • Sandy W.

    I have been a member (and big fan) of Montreal's Bixi bike-share program for several years. Citibike is a spinoff of Bixi, as is Boston's Hubway, and others elsewhere. I visit NYC frequently. Can I use my Bixi membership (and Bixi "key") to use a Citibike bike?

  • The_PainfulTruth

    Depends on the person. I am car free and most of my trips are at least one hour one direction. I'm a slow cyclist rarely breaking 15kph. The "The "30 minute limit is too short" illusion is just false" is itself false for some.

  • Yvonne

    Another great Street Film, Clarence! What a tremendous win for NYC. I'd love to see more mention of the fact that these bikes are a big Canadian/Montreal success story. The bikes and system were designed in Montreal and are now exported around the globe.