Everything You Need To Know About Citi Bikes

Author: Alex Bristol

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Everything You Need To Know About Citi Bikes

New York City is well known for its cabs and subways, but have you ever tried out their Citi Bikes?

Well, if you haven’t, then you’re in for a treat!

If you’re planning a trip to NYC and want to take in the city life on two wheels, or even if you live in NYC and looking for a better way to get around, Citi Bikes are brilliant.

Or even in a rush and need to meet your friends for brunch 20 blocks away, Citi Bikes are an absolute lifesaver for saving you time and making sure you don’t rock up all sweaty and flustered.

But wait, let me tell you something.

Citi bikes have become more and more popular forms of transportation and allow you to take advantage of the bike lane while riding with ease.

Whether you’re cruising around the Big Apple, take a trip to Jersey City, Brooklyn, or even the Bronx for a day, Citi Bikes offer accessible bikes at an honorable rate.

Let’s jump into everything you need to know!

First Things First, What Is a Citi Bike?

Citi Bike is a privately owned public bike-sharing system that serves around all the New York City Boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Jersey City, and New Jersey.

It connects all the New Yorkers and Jersey City locals to use both classic and pedal-assist electric bikes. They have docking stations located all around the city, making them easily accessible, and if one runs out, you can grab another easily.

It is ideal for city dwellers and even visitors to the city with stress-free transportation; they’re also available 24/7, so they’ll help you get to your destination any time you need.

No more waiting for the next train to arrive or faffing around trying to call the next cab.

Subway and taxi prices continue to go up over the years and train delays growing, more traffic jams occurring; grabbing a Citi Bike is a great alternative– especially for the environment.

Two person crossing the street with their bicycle

How Do Citi Bikes Work?

Now you know what Citi Bikes are all about you may be wondering how they work. Well, it’s simple really, all you need to do is get the Citi Bike or Lyft Bike app and purchase either an annual membership, single ride, or day pass.

Once you’ve got that all sorted you will either have a member bike key or code and you use the app to find your nearest Citi Bike, pop in the code/key and you’re good to go.

There are hundreds of Citi Bike locations around New York City Burroughs so you shouldn’t need to walk too far to find a Citi Bike.

But you may be wondering how many Citi Bikes are there in New York? Between Manhattan and Brooklyn, there are roughly 6000 bikes but in total there are well over 10,000 bikes located around the boroughs with over 1000 docking stations.

How to Rent A Bike Through The Citi Bike App:

The Citi Bike App is easy to download on either your android or IOS using the App Store Or Google Play Store. This is where you can purchase the city day pass and 3-day pass.

In order to do this go on the Citi Bike App and tap on ‘Choose A Pass’ then select your desired pass of membership through the prompts to make your purchase.

You will also have access to the map screen with icons marking all the bike’s locations and the number of bikes available, stations with a marked lightning icon indicate that electric bikes are available too.

Once you’ve found a bike at the location you should tap unlock a bike. Your app will come up with a five-digit code on the app screen for you to enter into the keypad on the dock of the bike you want to ride.

Once the code has been entered the dock will turn green and you can take your bike and start riding, pretty exciting right?

But What About Using The Lyft App?

If you’re only planning to use single ride passes rather than an annual membership then you’ll want to get the Lyft App.

All you need to do to purchase a Citi Bike with the Lyft app is tap the bike icon at the bottom of your map screen (this will only appear if you’re in a Citi Bike area) and using the map screen you can find the nearest bike location to you.

Once you arrive at the station you’ll be given the option to unlock a bike, when you’ve received your five-digit code then you should enter it on the keypad on the bike you want to rent out.

Then as you would with one of the passes the bike dock at the station will turn green and you’ll be able to start riding, whether that’s for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, it will charge your credit card linked to your Lyft account.

How Much Do Citi Bikes Cost?

Citi bikes other 3 different ride options, from an annual membership, day pass, to a single ride.

The annual membership costs $15 a month which is billed manually at $179. An annual member is entitled to unlimited 45-minute classic bike rides, $0.12/min, you can easily unlock with a free Citi Bike Key as well as earning rewards and offers.

Non-members can do a single ride for 30 minutes with a $3.50 unlock fee which is $0.12 a minute which is pretty cool. Non-members can also pay $10 for a bike key if they wish to make unlocking easier.

After the 30-minute rides are up, it will continue to charge $0.12 a minute so you’re not restricted for a 30-minute ride. Those with reduced far bike share will have a reduced rate of $0.05 a minute rides.

Day passes are also pretty reasonable too, they only cost $15 a day and you rent a bike and return it to the docking station whenever you’d like.

You can also purchase a 3-day-passes for $25, which is ideal for visitors looking to getting around the cities for more than one day periods.

Where Can You Use Citi Bikes?

You can ride Citi Bikes all over NYC, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, you name it. As long as you’re riding within the bike lanes you can go whenever the bike takes you.

NYC is super bike-friendly so there are many bike lanes located around the city, it is a brilliant way to get around as you can cut through Central Park, keep away from traffic and cars.

There are some popular CitiBike routes listed on their website too. From the Central Park Loop to the Hudson River Greenway or even if you fancy the Three Borough Tour, there are hundreds of routes to take nearby.

Citibikes provide unlimited fun around NYC.

A row of electric bikes lined up in front of a building

Why Citi Bikes Are a Great Way To Get Around:

Well, for starters, there are stations everywhere! All over NYC and the boroughs, plus the app shows you real-time tracking of bikes of what’s available and how many bikes are on the docks, and how many are electric.

This saves you a hell of a lot of time winding around to a bike station where there are no bikes left; if you’re visiting from out of town and tired of walking, then this is a great way to get you to where you’re going without ranking up a hefty taxi fare.

You can go shorter distances and not have to deal with miserable cabbie drivers who scrape every last inch of money you have. Day passes are brilliant as they allow you to take unlimited 30-minute rides whenever you want.

If you’re staying for a few days, too, you can also invest in the 3 days pass for $25, which allows unlimited half-hour rides for a 3 day period rather than just one.

If you’re an NYC local looking for an easier ride to work and looking to invest in membership, then the annual one is brilliant and allows you longer rides with 45 min rides; it is also ideal if you visit the city frequently.

Citi Bikes make riding more accessible to more people; New York is a big city, and a lot of bikes get stolen, so with Citi Bikes, you can ride all over Manhattan with confidence, and when you’re finished, just take it back to the nearest station dock, and you’re done.

No more spending hundreds on a good bike lock in the hope it will keep your bike safe, just the nearest station and jobs a gooden.


Shall I say more? Citi Bike is the top of the line; they’re absolutely brilliant, accessible, and affordable. They take the hassle out of traveling from one end of NYC to another, plus provide an excellent excuse to get fit.

You’ll be saving so much time and money on parking and trying to tackle the city rush hour. Whether you’re a city dweller or just a visitor looking to find out more, be sure to check out their website and find your local route.

Happy pedaling, guys!

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