New York is launching its very own 'Boris bike' style bike-share scheme, branded the 'City Bike.' Following in the trend of Boris' two-wheeled project, City Bike is also referred to as Bloomberg's bikes after the New York City mayor and is set to be launched in August 2012.
Tourists and New Yorkers alike will be able to saddle up on one of the 10,000 bikes that will be installed in the 600 stations across Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. The rates begin at $9.95 for the day, $25 for a week pass or $95 for the year. Travellers making short journeys of less than 30 minutes will not have to pay an extra fee, whilst those riding for longer must pay a surplus price for the hour and an elevated rate after that. Voyagers are therefore encouraged to use the bikes primarily for short commutes.
The scheme is a welcome addition to the city given the recent 17 per cent increase in yellow taxi fares. The bikes look to be cost-effective on short trips and give British visitors the chance to see more of the city compared to getting about by subway. British holidaymakers are advised to take care of crowds and traffic as well as the unfortunate lack of cycle paths. Having said that, the Summer Streets project closes roads to all motorised vehicles on 4, 11 and 18 August, meaning that Britons holidaying in New York at this time will enjoy free reign of the roads. Ryan Greenawalt, a New Yorker and bike enthusiast, recommends a classic five-mile route beginning on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge heading down into Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, Unions Square and onto Park Avenue to Central Park. Travellers hoping to catch site of some of New York's archetypal sites can ride the eight mile route from Queens to Brooklyn cycling along the waterfront and across the Pulaski Bridge. This takes you directly opposite the staggering Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.
Although City Bike was initially planned to take to the roads in April 2012, problems with funding have delayed it until August. However, the scheme's executive director, Paul White, has said it is August is a 'solid' date. Therefore British holiday-goers heading to the Big Apple in August should be amongst the first to give the bikes a go.
For more information see the City Bike website.
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