Citi Bikes: Everything You Need to Know

Posted March 18, 2021

Everyone knows that the two best ways to see New York City are either by walking or biking, right? Citi Bikes are the most convenient--and cheapest--way for visitors to enjoy short-term bike rental. New Yorkers love them, too. In fact, we fell in love with the bike share program when it debuted over fifteen years ago with fewer than 7,000 bikes. Now its fleet has 14,500 and 900 docking stations all over the five boroughs.

Here's the scoop:

There are two types of passes that best suit visitors. A single ride pass costs $3.50 and includes one ride for up to 30 minutes. If you keep the bike out longer, it's an extra $4 for every 15 minutes.

If you plan a longer trip, the day pass may be your best option. $15 gives you 24 hours of unlimited 30-minute rides and a three-day pass costs $24.

Remember that the golden rule to be mindful of is that each ride, regardless of the type of pass, should be no longer than 30-minutes. Even with the all-day version, you'll still have to dock once every half hour for two minutes to avoid those extra fees. (I know, I know. We hate it, too. It's a drag, but we still think it beats renting a bike for a day.)

Passes can be purchased at any Citi Bike Station kiosk. But we advise you to download the app because of the extra features it provides. Not only can you buy a pass through the app, but you can also locate docking stations and see if there are currently bikes available at each one. Plus for an additional 18 cents per minute, you can get an upgrade to an e-bike--solely via the app. Data geeks will love that it provides ride stats, i.e. number of rides and total miles ridden. And everyone will love the fact that app users can enable push notifications to get updates on their ride, so they won't go past the 30-minute mark and incur those nasty penalties. 

Image via Chung Chu/Flickr