New York City is notorious for being difficult to get around. People who have lived in New York for months often still can’t figure out the Subway. Its buses are even worse, and taxis? Forget it. So enter the latest addition to the New York City public transport system: bicycles. Or to be more precise, Citi Bike.
What is Citi Bike?
Sponsored and named after Citi Bank, it’s a network of bicycles you pay to ride and then drop off at your convenience. It’s basically London’s Boris Bikes, only in New York.
Is it cheap?
Yes and no. It’s relatively cheap to use for short periods of time — $10 a day or $25 for the week as a registration fee. That’s pretty steep compared with similar cycle schemes in other cities, but not bad compared with the cost of New York Subway travel if you use it a lot. It’s also free for the first half an hour, but you have to pay by the hour from then on, and the charges can really stack up if you’re not mindful of time.
Is it easy?
Registering is easy. Finding a bike is easy, as there are thousands of them scattered across Manhattan and Brooklyn. Renting a bike – in particular unlocking it from the station – requires a certain knack, but other than that, it’s lemon squeasy.
Is it safe?
One of the advantages of Citi Bike is that you don’t have to worry about locking your bike somewhere and risk having it stolen. So it’s perfect for one-way journeys and cycling to work. As for navigating the New York City’s congested roads by bicycle, you have to keep your wits about you, that’s for sure. Take time to familiarise yourself with the highway code before riding, and have a good idea of where you’re going (and how to get there!) before you set off. Not only will it be cheaper if you don’t get lost, it’s a dangerous business cycling round New York City’s streets with the added distraction of not knowing where you’re going.