Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Citi Bike served Staten Island and that rides in the Bronx were priced at three dollars. It has been updated to reflect that Citi Bike does not serve Staten Island and rides in the Bronx are priced at two dollars.
By Tereza Shkurtaj
Bike use has grown as an alternative mode of transportation for New Yorkers as bike-sharing companies, such as Citi Bike and JUMP, work to revolutionize the transportation game.
With Citi Bike, there is no need for a lock and chain or to worry about finding a safe spot to park personal bikes. The company offers commuters and tourists an easier solution — the option to use a bike and return it to any parking station near a Citi Bike location.
For years, Citi Bike has provided three of New York City’s boroughs — Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn — with transportation services. Now, for the first time since the company’s launch in 2013, Citi Bike is represented in the Bronx.
“Ever since I became commissioner, one of the most popular questions I’ve been getting is ‘When is Citi Bike coming to the Bronx?’” said Bronx Department of Transportation commissioner Nivardo Lopez in an interview with BronxNet.
On Aug. 15, the DOT kicked off a new pilot program introducing dockless Citi Bikes to the Fordham area of the Bronx with a celebration held at Fordham Plaza. The event included helmet customization by a Tuff City artist, music by local DJ E-Double and live mural paintings.
Unlike typical Citi Bikes, which need to be parked at the nearest station after use, dockless Citi Bikes allow riders to park the blue bikes on a sidewalk or near a bike rack. All riders are advised to park responsibly and are charged a $20 fee if the bike is left beyond the assigned service area.
“All you need is your app, and you look for the nearest bike and you tap the phone onto the bike, unlock, and go for a ride,” said Citi Bike General Manager Kris Sandor, in the same interview with BronxNet.
The self-locking bikes can be used within the Bronx service area that is clearly marked and shaded in blue on the Citi Bike app. The green wifi icons shown on the map indicate parked, available bikes in the area.
“Citi Bikes are a great addition to the Fordham community,” said commuter Ardhmir Malziu, FCRH ’21. “Students are now exposed to the culture of the Bronx through a different means of transportation, and what healthier way to do so than with bicycles? I now also have another option of transportation to and from Fordham that is less costly for me.”
Single rides, up to thirty minutes, are priced at two dollars. Day passes, which are ideal for individuals commuting by bike multiple times per day, are $12 and allow unlimited 30 minute rides within the 24 hour period. For those who use biking as their main method of transportation, the annual membership offers unlimited 45 minute rides for $169 per year.
Healthfirst is also partnering with Citi Bike to expand bike-share access to NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients. It allows those who are eligible to obtain a discounted membership of five dollars a month with no commitment.
“The Citi Bike program has had a significant impact on our efforts to expand transportation and commuter options for New Yorkers, giving residents a safe, affordable and easily accessible alternative way to travel throughout our city,” representative Adriano Espaillat said.
New Yorkers use Citi Bikes to get to work, school, the nearest train stations and more simply, for fun.
“The introduction of dockless Citi Bikes to the Bronx is amazing. It speaks volumes in terms of bettering the communities within the five boroughs,” Izabela Sieniawski, FGSB ’21, said. “I’m definitely excited to try out the bikes with my friends.”