Citi Bike in NYC Announces 11% Price Hike for Membership Rates in 2023
By: Hellen Zaboulani
On Thursday, Citi Bike announced an 11 percent price hike for membership rates in 2023.
As reported by Crain’s NY, the company which has become the largest bike-sharing service in the United States, will raise membership rates to $205 a year, up from $185 a year. In January 2022, the company had also increased prices, raising the yearly rate from $179 to $185, marking a smaller 3 percent hike. The prices for single-trips, all-day rentals and e-bike fees are also rising, by a varying range between 13% and 27%. The membership price increases will take effect on January 29th, while the other increases will apply starting on Jan. 5. The discounted price for residents of public housing will not change, as per the company.
Citi Bike is owned by the ride-sharing company Lyft, which also has other bike share programs in its portfolio. Among other things, the price increases represent the fact that an expected subsidy from City Hall has yet to come to fruition. The most compelling cause for the price hikes is inflation, in which materials and shipping costs have risen, as per Lyft. “We are all committed to working with our city partners and doing our best to provide world-class service, create enhanced value for members and increase equitable access for clean transportation options while running a financially sustainable system,” said a Lyft spokesman in a statement.
Citi Bike was launched in May 2013 with roughly 6,000 bikes and has expanded over the years. It now boasts roughly 30,000 blue-toned bikes in roughly 1,500 stations across New York City and in Jersey City and Hoboken, New Jersey. Critics and some elected representatives say the expansion has not always been equitable—with no bike stations at all on Staten Island, or in certain parts of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. Lyft will continue to pursue more expansions for Citi Bikes. It hopes that by 2024, there will be 40,000 bikes across the city.
As per Crain’s, the bike sharing company, which reportedly still operates at a small loss, has long been awaiting a boost from the city. The aid would potentially work to help the company to continue providing New Yorkers with zero emissions transportations options. Previously, similar subsidies were given to ferry lines.
Mayor Eric Adams was expected to be a supporter of subsidies for Citi Bikes. Besides being seen pedaling the blue bikes around the city, Adams had vowed during his 2021 campaign that he would help ensure that New Yorkers in struggling neighborhoods will have bike access. The city was previously in talks with the bike share company to add incentives to expand into less represented and poorer neighborhoods. So far, since becoming mayor, Adams has not pledged any specific subsidy for Citi Bikes.
“We continue to discuss with our service provider how to achieve these mutual goals,” said Vincent Barone, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation, in a statement.