Launch still scheduled for May 2013It took a while, but New York City's bike-sharing program is finally getting close to launching. Annual memberships for Citibike are now available, and the first 5,000 members will be considered "founding members" and get some perks (though what exactly is still not clear). There are also discounted yearly memberships available for those who qualify (criteria here), and daily and weekly memberships for those who suffer from commitment anxiety.
What about the bikes & stations?
6,000 bikes are expected to be deployed at 300 stations.
The station map still shows all stations as "planned", but once we reach the launch date in May that should show which are active and become a useful tool. Citibike writes: "The stations are solar-powered and modular to allow for easy installation. Each station consists of a variable number of docking ports for the bikes, plus a touchscreen kiosk for the purchase of Access Passes."
As for the bikes, you can see a photo above: "They feature a step-thru frame that provides a lower center of gravity and ease of access to a wide range of heights. Every bike has three speeds, a bell, front and rear-flashing LED lights and a handy front rack. Plus, the internal hub gears, chain guard and fenders keep you riding clean, confidently and in style." More details about the bikes can be found here.
Because this is the 21st century, Citibike also has a smartphone app that makes finding stations and planning routes easier.