In New York, Citibank have announced that they are sponsoring and commercialising the bike share system. To be renamed Citi Bike, the system will be 100% privately funded with 600 stations and 10,000 bikes in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
According to TreeHugger, Citi Bike's pricing is listed as $95 for an annual pass, $25 for a 7-day pass, and $9.95 for 24-hour access. But the city of New York has plans to make sure the Citi Bikes are accessible to New Yorkers "of all income levels". A program is being developed, according to the web site, so that qualifying New Yorkers will be able to purchase a reduced annual membership for $60, payable in quarterly instalments.
It’s very interesting to see a commercial entity come on board to run the bike sharing scheme, as inherently they will be running it to set out to make a profit. However the scale of the investment and reach of the infrastructure is more likely to change behaviours than a small investment. Watch this space to see how it performs!