If you live in or have traveled to New York or New Jersey in the last few years, you’ve probably seen more and more blue bikes lining various streets throughout each states’ major cities.
In this article, we’ll cover everything related to the Citi Bike cost you can expect when riding, including pricing options and additional fees.
Table Of Contents
What is Citi Bike?
The Department of Transportation in New York was the first to introduce Citi Bike, a public bicycle sharing system owned by the company Lyft.
It provides a safe, clean, and affordable way for city residents to get around.
The bikes have a highly durable design, more resistant to wear and tear.
You also don’t have to worry about storage or maintenance.
The department was trying to fix overcrowding on subways, trains, and roads.
Biking is a logical idea that also reduces carbon emissions.
Launch day in 2013, Citi Bike had over 300 stations and 6,000 bikes.
Today, there are over 1,000 stations and 17,000 cycles.
With over 50,000 daily riders, Citi Bike has grown tremendously within the New York area.
How Does Citi Bike Work?
With Lyft’s technology, you can easily rent a Citi Bike through their app.
You will need to purchase an annual membership or a short-term pass.
Once the transaction is complete, you will receive a QR code.
Simply find a bike station and scan the code from a bike or enter the bike’s ID number.
If you don’t want to use your phone to unlock the bike, you can purchase a bike key for $5 at the station kiosk.
There is a slot in the bicycle to insert the key.
When the bike is unlocked, you are free to ride!
When done, lock the bike up at the closest station.
Where Is Citi Bike Available?
Citi Bike is only available in a limited area on the East Coast.
You can find Citi Bike stations around New York’s boroughs and a couple of places in New Jersey.
List of Cities of Operation
- New York City, NY: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Expansion plans until 2024 include more accessibility in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.
- Jersey City, New Jersey
- Hoboken, New Jersey
How Much Does Citi Bike Cost?
For short-term rentals, you can buy through the app or any kiosk station.
They do not accept cash, only credit or debit cards.
If you want to purchase an annual membership, you must do so through the app.
Single Ride Costs
Do you need to get to a local city attraction?
Would you like to bike around Central Park?
Single rides are an excellent option for visitors who want to explore the city without taking an expensive cab.
You could spend under $4 for a 30-minute ride.
Citi Bike has two options: Classic bikes or E-Bikes.
The classic Citi Bike is a regular pedal bike that doesn’t require a charge.
A single ride on a classic bike is $3.99 for the first 30 minutes.
If you keep your bike out past the 30 minutes, a $0.23 charge will accrue every minute until you return the classic bike.
Citi Bike E-Bikes have electric motors that give you a speed boost up to 18 miles per hour.
Electric bikes are great for steep inclines or long rides.
They can be helpful if you are short on time and need to get somewhere quickly.
If you choose an E-Bike, the regular $3.99 is applied, plus $0.23 a minute.
You will also be charged another $0.23 every minute over 30 minutes.
Day Pass Cost
Day passes are great if you have a busy day planned and know you will need to rent a bike multiple times in one day.
A day pass is $15 and allows you unlimited 30-minute rides for 24 hours.
Remember, you will still incur an extra charge if you go over a 30-minute ride.
If you don’t keep your ride under a half-hour, $4 will add up every 15 minutes.
The $15 day pass only covers a classic bike rental.
If you choose an E-Bike, you will still have to pay the additional $0.23 a minute.
Annual Membership Cost
An annual Citi Bike membership is the best option for local New Yorkers who rely on subways and cabs.
If you take frequent quick trips, whether to appointments or work, an annual membership may be the most beneficial.
You can take as many rides as you want throughout the year, including the first 45 minutes in the plan with classic bikes.
The additional charge for E-Bikes is $0.15 per minute and an extra $0.15 per minute if you go over the 45 minutes.
You will pay $185 upfront for the annual membership, which works out to be $15.42 a month.
Citi Bike will charge extra fees to the debit or credit card on file.
When returning a bike, be sure that the light turns green.
If you don’t lock the bike correctly, you will have to pay for going over your time.
If bikes are missing for longer than 24 hours, you may have to pay a $1200 fee plus tax.
Pro Tip: Use a Citi Bike promo code to unlock great discounts, promotions and pricing.
Citi Bike Cost Comparisons
Bike share systems are launching all over the country and are now in more than 60 major cities in the U.S.
You can find companies offering bike-sharing in cities like Miami, Seattle, Denver, and more.
Let’s compare different bike-share companies and see what they have to offer.
Citi Bike Vs. Zagster
Zagster is a startup from Boston, MA, that began in 2007.
They design, build and operate bike-sharing programs across the United States.
In 2019, it ran over 200 bike share programs in major cities.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus, they have permanently terminated all operations until further notice.
Citi Bike Vs. JOCO
JOCO has bike stations set up all over New York, and they offer competitive rates.
The day pass is $15, and you have unlimited 6-hour rides within 24 hours.
The week pass is $49 and allows you unlimited 6-hour drives within seven days.
JOCO advertises an easy way for delivery drivers to get around the city for cheap.
Download the JOCO app for more information or to get started!
Citi Bike Vs. Lime
Lime is bringing all electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds to cities globally.
They have stations in New York and other major U.S. and international cities.
Their rates vary by location; download the app to get accurate prices.
Lime charges an upfront fee to unlock the bike and a per-minute fee.
Is The Citi Bike Cost Worth It?
Let’s dissect the pros and cons of renting a bike with Citi Bike.
Citi Bike Pros
Citibike is convenient and affordable.
You don’t have to stand in packed subways or take a ride in an overpriced cab, just download the app, choose your plan, unlock the bike, and go.
There are no maintenance or storage fees to worry about, and E-Bikes are a safe and fast way to get where you need to go.
Citi Bike Cons
E-Bikes are very popular and can be hard to find.
Although affordable, fees can stack up if you go too far over your time limit.
30-minutes isn’t a very long time, and it can be stressful trying to get the bike back without being charged an overage fee.
Also, if you choose an E-Bike, you will be spending quite a bit more.
If your bike goes missing, you may be charged $1200 or more for a replacement.
If you plan your ride correctly, renting a Citi Bike is worth it.
You can help the environment, save yourself money, and get where you need to go quickly.
Citi Bike is expanding within New York City and other parts of New Jersey, making it even easier to find a safe and convenient ride.
Download the app and pick a plan.
Local New Yorkers are taking advantage of this new transportation option, and tourists are quickly becoming aware of it.
Pick a single ride, day pass, or yearly subscription and save time and money.