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NYC launches nation's largest bike share system


16:21, May 28, 2013

NEW YORK, May 27 (Xinhua) -- New York City launched U.S. largest bike share system on Monday, with an aim to promote cycling as a key component of public transit for the growing number of local residents and foreign visitors.

The system, privately funded by a 41-million-U.S.-dollar sponsorship from Citibank, has 6,000 bikes now available at more than 300 stations for use by more than 15,000 annual members.

Annual members receive an electronic key which they can insert into a bike dock to undock a bike, allowing unlimited trips up to 45 minutes for an entire year without incurring any additional costs. To complete the trip, users need only dock the bike at any available rack in the system.

"The program is a big win for New York, and it's already the largest bike share system in the nation," said Mayor Bloomberg. "It's going to give New Yorkers another way to get around town by extending connectivity from subway and bus stops.

"It's New York City's first new public transit system in more than 75 years," said NYC Transportation Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "Bikes are convenient, safe and affordable transit for growing numbers of New Yorkers and the program will change how we get around the city for years to come."

The bike sharing locations were determined at 400 meetings with community boards, civic organizations, elected officials and other property owners and stakeholders, and with some 65,000 online suggestions received on the City's bike share portal, the most public input for any transportation project.

Annual membership provides a complement to New York City's extensive transportation network and will make destinations farther from subway stations and bus stops easier to reach, while also providing better access to many of the city's growing waterfront communities.

The City's Department of Transportation also set up street safety managers to reinforce the rules of the road, which come alongside advertising campaigns to encourage all street users to look out for each other.

Biking is the city's fastest growing transportation option, with the number of cyclists on key commuter routes doubling from 2007 to 2011, while, the risk of serious injury for bike riders has dropped nearly 75 percent over the last decade.

The Bike Share Program is also expected to have a positive impact on the local economy, creating 170 jobs and generating 36 million dollars in local economic activity annually.

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