May 4 marks the annual day for “Star Wars” fans to binge out, but this year, it’s also the start of Citi Bike expansion throughout the boroughs.
In an effort to help during the COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Lyft announced that Citi and MasterCard have partnered to commit $1 million to significantly grow the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program, making memberships longer and available to more workers.
More than 5,500 first responders, transit and healthcare workers have obtained a free month of Citi Bike membership since its recent program launch and now it will expand to additional critical workers.
Now, the program will include full-year annual memberships and its beneficiaries will include workers at critical food-related nonprofits, as well as essential city employees. The deadline to join has been extended from April 30 to May 31.
“The most effective interventions in the fight against COVID-19 are ones that help essential workers get us through this crisis, while laying the foundation for a fairer and better city in the future,” de Blasio said. “I’m grateful to Lyft, Citi and MasterCard for standing with our city’s heroes and for helping our city provide expanded access to bike share in underserved areas.”
To serve even more critical workers, the administration expanded Citi Bike to Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Washington Heights, coordinated donations of dozens of bikes to staff at Elmhurst Hospital and will add a Citi Bike station outside Harlem Hospital and Lincoln Hospital, as part of the upcoming expansion that will bring more than 100 additional Citi Bike stations in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx starting next week.
Over the last month or more, Citi Bike stations outside healthcare centers have been some of the busiest in the entire bike share system.
Below are specific details about the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program:
- Healthcare providers, transit employees, first responders, critical city workforce and those working at direct food-support nonprofit organizations can obtain a free Citi Bike membership by signing up through their employers.
- These employers should email HeroBikes@Lyft.com to obtain enrollment information to distribute to staff.
- There is no cost for employers to enroll.
- Individuals working in these fields who recently purchased a membership or have upcoming membership renewals can also access a free membership.
“Expanding and extending the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program will enable thousands of workers on the front lines of COVID-19 to have safe, healthy and convenient commutes,” Trottenberg said. “We strongly encourage eligible workers to sign up and try the program, especially with Citi Bike expanding to the Bronx and Upper Manhattan in the coming days and bringing docks to Lincoln and Harlem Hospitals. We thank Lyft, Citi, MasterCard and all of our other partners for helping our transportation system serve even more New Yorkers in these difficult times.”
In 2019, the administration announced plans to bring Citi Bike to several neighborhoods in the south Bronx.