Citi Bike to offer free one-day passes for new riders tomorrow, while geographical limits cut out east Bronxites

Row of city bikes for rent at docking stations in New York
Citi Bike is offering free passes Saturday, but the program is not available throughout the whole borough.
Photo courtesy Getty

New Citi Bike riders in the Bronx can try the bicycle-sharing app for free on Saturday, but the program doesn’t span the whole borough.

Citi Bike, which is owned by rideshare company Lyft, is offering free one-day passes to new riders on Saturday as part of the city Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Car-Free Earth Day Celebration. New riders can put the code CARFREE22 into the Citi Bike app to receive unlimited 30-minute rides for 24 hours.

Bronxites can also sign up at the Citi Bike tent at Roberto Clemente Plaza on Third Avenue between 148th and 149th streets.

The blue bike-ride sharing program is not available boroughwide, however.

According to a map on the company’s website, the eastern-most Citi Bike dock in the South Bronx is located at Hunts Point and Bryant avenues in the Hunts Point area. Higher up in the borough, the docks don’t go further east than Botanical Square and Webster Avenue, outside the northwest section of the New York Botanical Garden.

A screenshot of the Citi Bike map shows that the bike share excludes much of the borough. Photo courtesy Citi Bike

Many Bronx neighborhoods eastward, however, are part of the east Bronx e-scooter pilot program, which allows Bronxites to travel by shared e-scooters, rather than bicycles.

But the two programs don’t serve all Bronx residents, as Belmont, East Tremont, West Farms, Norwood and City Island have neither program available.

Councilmember Amanda Farías, who represents sections of the Bronx included in the second phase of the e-scooter pilot, said in an interview with the Bronx Times that she is advocating for Citi Bike to expand in the Bronx during 2022-23 city budget negotiations.

“I think Citi Bike is always an added plus to a community when you’re adding additional transit options,” the Parkchester Progressive said.

She said the communities that don’t have e-scooters or Citi Bike likely don’t have safety infrastructure like bike lanes, and a lot of people want another transit option.

“It’s definitely critical and necessary if we’re going to try to continue to hit our climate goals and we’re going to continue to push for less cars on the road to positively impact air quality and make neighborhoods multi-mobile and really be able to make our mobility more interconnected,” Farías added. “So, I’d like to see Citi Bike expanded where appropriate throughout the borough definitely and citywide.”

Shawn Garcia, the Bronx Organizer at non-profit Transportation Alternatives said in a statement to the Bronx Times that access to the bike-share program and other micromobility options brings sustainable, affordable and healthy ways to get around the borough, encouraging public funding for an expansion.

“We hope many New Yorkers try out Citi Bike for the free ride day, and also hope that in the upcoming city budget, the [Mayor Eric] Adams administration will provide public funding to speed up the Citi Bike expansion to communities in the Bronx and beyond that still don’t have bike share.” Garcia said. “We dedicate public funding to every other transportation option.”

DOT will have programming with climate change and sustainability education on nine streets throughout the city on Saturday.

This article was updated at 1:25 p.m.

Reach Aliya Schneider at [email protected] or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.

More from Around NYC