Wednesday, July 09, 2014

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City Bike Sharing Program Ready To Ride Next Month

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The mayor's two-wheeled dream is coming true, as after almost a year's worth of delays, the CitiBike bicycle rental program will begin at select spots in two boroughs starting next month. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced Monday at the Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn that the city's bike sharing program has arrived.

"We are announcing today that for the first time, New Yorkers can sign up and become an annual member of the CitiBike program," said Sadik-Khan.

That's the $95 option that allows up to 45 minutes of riding between docking at stations. 6,000 bikes will be available at 330 stations in parts of Brooklyn in Manhattan.

That will be in May, but officials would not give an exact date.

"In May," Sadik-Khan said. "There's no problem, we're just announcing in May."

There have been previous problems with launching this program. Last May, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the bicycles would be rolled out that summer, saying "This can change the city!"

Technical glitches put the brakes on that launch date, and then Hurricane Sandy lashed into the area where the bikes are stored.

Bloomberg was not at Monday's announcement and his top aides seemed annoyed by questions about delay.

"It will be a huge part of this mayor's legacy. It will be something that New Yorkers will enjoy in years and decades to come, and no one will remember that it could have been in March as opposed to May," said Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson.

When the program is ready, it will provide an alternate way to get around, and one that is better for the environment and people's health to boot.

The program is only open to those aged 16 and older. Although helmets are suggested, they are not required. Officials said there are no plans for a helmet-sharing program either.

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