The mayor’s office recently announced its plan to install 10,000 bicycles at a total of 600 bike share stations throughout the city in July, and yesterday, the look of the bike share was revealed. They’re basically electric-blue Citibank ads on wheels. Citibank invested $41 million in the bike share program, to be called “Citi Bikes.”
And the bikes ain’t cheap. As New York Magazine reports, it probably makes more sense to take the train. After your $95 yearly membership or $25.00 weekly membership, or $9.95 one-day fee, riding the bike is free. For a half hour. (Forty-five minutes, if you’re a yearly member). After that, another half hour is $4.00, another hour is $13.00, and another 90 minutes is $25.00, with each 30 minutes after that running $12.00. That is to say, a full day of bike riding will cost a total of $154.95. Yeesh.
In an email, Robert Lederman pointed out that the vending stations for the bike share have been allotted the same placement that is now used by street vendors—that is, 20 feet from a door on a sidewalk that’s at least 12 feet wide. Lederman, who has twice filed free-speech suits against the city of New York for encroaching on the rights of street art vendors, objects to the notion of the city snatching up hundreds of choice vending locations for what amounts to advertising for a giant corporation. And I don’t think he’s wrong.