A 600-station bike sharing system is slated to debut during the summer of 2012 in New York City. The network of 10,000 bicycles is being set up in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and future expansion into Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx is possible. New York City Bike Share is privately sponsored and operated. The NYC Department of Transportation regulates site selection and participates in community outreach, but the funding and operation is managed by Alta Bicycle Share.
Here’s how it will work: All of the 600 stations will have a kiosk with touch-screen interface, a map of the entire system, and a row of locked bicycles. Stations will be solar-powered and open 24 hours a day. You’ll have to be a member to unlock a bike. Registered members sign up online and are issued a key fob to unlock a bike. Casual members sign up using the station touch screen and are given a code to unlock a bike. Riders can return their rentals to any NYC station with an available space.
Membership and usage fees have not yet been determined. Expect a tiered membership fee structure as well as a tiered hourly usage fee structure.
New York City has created a webpage where visitors can suggest station sites for the bike share system. The page is already loaded with hundreds of suggested sites. Throughout 2011 and 2012, Alta Bicycle Share will be hosting press conferences and demonstrations in an effort solicit feedback as the project proceeds. Check out their News page for updates.
Here’s a video introducing the program:
Images via: Downtown From Behind