Home Bike Share Guide Bike Share HowTos How Citi Bike Works

How Citi Bike Works


Experience NYC in a whole new way

Citi Bike is the nation’s largest bike share program, with 12,000 bikes and 750 stations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City. It was designed for quick trips with convenience in mind, and it’s a fun and affordable way to get around town.

In short, here is how Citi Bike works.


Become an Annual Member or buy a short-term pass through the Citi Bike app.


Find an available bike nearby, and get a ride code or use your member key to unlock it.


Take as many short rides as you want while your pass or membership is active.


Return your bike to any station, and wait for the green light on the dock.

Why Citi Bike
Photo Source: Citi Bike Official Website

Why Citi Bike?

Save Money

Using Citi Bike can save a lot of money over taking taxis. And a whole year of Citi Bike costs less than two monthly subway passes!

Save Time

Citi Bike is often faster than other modes of transportation (especially when going crosstown), and it’s more convenient than owning a bike.

Have Fun

Whether you’re using Citi Bike to commute to work or ride to meet friends, we bet you’ll get there with a smile on your face.

Get Exercise

Getting places by pedal power is great exercise. Even biking short distances can lead to positive health benefits, as well as reduced stress.

Go Green

Biking saves gasoline, prevents carbon emissions, and keeps pollutants out of the air. It’s not only healthy for you, but also for the environment!

Rules of the Road

Riding a bike in NYC has never been better! With more than 1,000 miles of bike lanes, cycling in the city is more convenient and safe than ever. Whether you’re an experienced rider or new to urban cycling, here are a few simple tips to help you feel more comfortable and confident.

Plan a sensible route

From shared traffic lanes to car-free greenways, choose a route that suits your comfort level. Use the Citi Bike mobile app to map out a route to your destination, and we’ll show you the safest route using bike lanes whenever possible.

Do a pre-ride check

Before you start a ride: adjust the seat to fit your height, squeeze the brakes to make sure there’s resistance, and check the tires to make sure they’re not flat. If there’s a problem with the bike, just dock it and hit the red “wrench” button, then choose a different bike.

Wear a helmet

All Citi Bikers are encouraged to wear a helmet while riding (and in New Jersey, it’s the law for riders under 17!). Make sure yours fits snugly, wear it level on your head, and always buckle the chin strap. The DOT offers free helmet fitting classes, or you can call 311 to schedule your own.

Obey traffic signals

The same laws apply to bicycles as to motor vehicles in New York and New Jersey – including obeying all traffic lights and signs.

Ride with traffic

Bicyclists are required by law to ride in the same direction as cars, and must use a bike lane when available. If there is no usable bike lane, cyclists should ride as far to the right as possible, while staying at least 3-4 feet from the curb or parked cars.

Stay off sidewalks

Bicyclists should ride in a bike path or on the right side of the road, leaving the sidewalk for pedestrian traffic only. Exceptions are made for young riders under parental supervision, or when the road conditions are not safe for cyclists.

Yield to pedestrians

Like motor vehicles, bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians when the law requires it, such as at crosswalks and intersections. If you have the light, use your bell to alert pedestrians of your presence when necessary.

Use hand signals

Bicyclists are required to use hand signals to let drivers and other cyclists know where they’re going. Stick your left arm straight out to indicate a left turn. For a right turn, extend your right arm straight out, or raise your left arm and bend it upward at the elbow. To stop, hold your left hand by your side pointing toward the ground.

Never ride distracted

Don’t text and ride! Pull over if you have to send a message or talk on the phone. It is also illegal to ride with two headphones in; one is permitted, but it’s always safer to ride without any. Being aware and predictable reduces the chance of an accident.

Leave a Reply