This morning, The Times Square Alliance and New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced that Citi Bikes will be used to light up the New Year's Eve ball on Tuesday.
The stationary bike generator will be pedaled by visitors to Times Square. It can accommodate six riders, and each is expected to produce 75 watts per hour. The energy will be stored in 12-volt batteries, which will off-set the energy used by the ball's lights. The Times Square ball is lit up by 30,000 LEDs and weighs 11,875 pounds. Gothamist reports that the ball uses 50,000 watts for the whole event. A meter will show riders how much energy they have collectively produced.
Citi and the event's planners highlighted the renewability of this energy source in a press release:
“After propelling themselves more than 11 million miles over the last seven months, Citi Bike riders will now have a chance to help propel New York City and the world into the New Year,” said Citi EVP of Global Public Affairs Edward Skyler. “The Citi Bike Pedal Power Station will highlight the sustainability of the program and give riders a chance to power one of New York City’s oldest icons with one of its newest.”
The "Pedal Power" station is located at the Southeast corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street. It is scheduled to be open to the public December 28 and December 29 from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM and on December 30 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Participants receive a free Citi Bike day pass as payment for peddling.