From Saturday, Sept. 25, to Saturday, Oct. 9, Healthfirst, the official wellness partner of Citi Bike, is offering a First Ride Free to help get more New Yorkers outside and using pedal power to get to their favorite local spots or for some healthy exercise. The free ride activation includes one free 30-minute ride on Citi Bike classic bikes. Citi Bike is operated as a partnership between the city Department of Transportation (DOT) and Lyft.
“Citi Bike has become an integral part of New Yorkers lives by making cycling more readily available than ever before,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “I thank Healthfirst and our partner Lyft for offering this two week opportunity to try this green, affordable and healthy way to get around our city.”
“Citi Bike was there for New Yorkers during the pandemic, and as we’re seeing New York come back to life, we have a unique opportunity to help support the reawakening of the city and help NYC rebound.” said Laura Fox, General Manager for Citi Bike at Lyft, “Biking is not only a fun way to experience the city but it’s also an important way to reduce traffic congestion and emissions, which is why we’re working together with Healthfirst to help introduce new people to the benefits of cycling.”
To claim the free 30-minute bike ride, riders can use the promo code Healthfirst21 to redeem a free ride in the Lyft or Citi Bike app.
Healthfirst is also the presenting sponsor of the Reduced Fare Bike Share program, which offers discounted $5/month memberships to eligible NYC Housing Authority residents, SNAP recipients and members of select community development credit unions.
Currently, there more than 14,000 New Yorkers access the Reduced Fare Bike Share program. Membership has doubled in the past year due to expansion of bike stations and riders finding Citi Bikes to be a safe and dependable mode of transportation.
“If you haven’t taken a ride on a Citi Bike, First Ride Free offers a great opportunity to give it a try compliments of Healthfirst,” said Miguel Centeno, Healthfirst vice president of Community Engagement. “We were excited to see the steady growth in the number of Reduced Fare Bike Share members over the past year which reinforces that the program provides a valuable resource to the community. Providing affordable and dependable transportation which allows people to get to work, to doctor appointments and to access resources and services, as well as participate in a healthy exercise option, aligns perfectly with Healthfirst’s mission to promote equity and health and wellness for all New Yorkers.”
Researchers at Colorado University recently found in the first study of its kind that bikeshare saves the U.S. $36 million in public health dollars every year, with more than $15 million of that coming from Citi Bike alone. The researchers estimated that putting 100,000 additional New Yorkers onto bikeshare would result in 15 fewer deaths, 2,556 fewer disability adjusted life years, and more than $111 million fewer public health dollars spent annually through increases in physical activity and improvements in air quality.
Citi Bike provided a socially distanced and reliable mode of transportation for New Yorkers during the pandemic, supporting millions of rides, many of which were taken by our heroic frontline workers. Through the launch of the Critical Care program, Citi Bike was able to step up and provide more than 30,000 free memberships and 1.2 million rides to essential workers and healthcare providers.
Today Citi Bike is the most widely used bike-share system in North America, reaching a milestone of 100 million all-time rides last year and a record-breaking 135,004 trips taken on a single day on Sept. 11. Last year alone, nearly 900,000 Citi Bike riders pedaled more than 42.1 million miles. Citi Bike has also expanded to add another 250 stations this year, with more than 1,500 stations and 23,000 bikes total across the system.