New York's bike share launches day and week passes

citi bike station in New York
CC BY-NC 3.0 Margaret Badore

New York City's bike share system, Citi Bike, opened to the public yesterday. Day passes and week passes are now available for purchase, so I tested out the system.

How the Day Pass Works

You swipe your card at a station kiosk and choose your pass. A ticket prints with a code. You then have five minutes to find a bike and punch in your code to unlock it.

Each time you want to take out a bike, you swipe your credit card at the kiosk again and get a new code.

I found the process to be unnervingly slow (Is it working? Am I doing it right?). It's also unfortunate that each time you want to use your pass you need to print out a new receipt. It would be much more convenient to be able to use the same code all day, and it would also save paper. I'm sure that the one-use code is designed to prevent people from sharing their pass, but there's still nothing preventing someone swiping their card and unlocking a bike for another rider.

While some have reported trouble unlocking and docking their bikes, I didn't have any trouble.

day pass for Citi BikeMargaret Badore/CC BY 3.0

Tourists and residents tested out the new bikes around the city. According to the Citi Bike blog, 2,765 day passes were sold on Sunday. The Department of Transportation handed out 500 free helmets at an event in Union Square.

Were you one of the 2,765? Tell us what you thought!

New York's bike share launches day and week passes
Citi Bike is now available to tourists and New Yorkers alike.