Jersey City launched its own Citi Bike bike-share program yesterday. While it’s separate from New York City’s Citi Bike, the systems are interoperable, meaning members of one can use their keys to unlock bicycles in the other, and don’t need dual memberships.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop spent two years working to establish a program in his city, according to the New York Times.
Mayor Fulop, a Democrat, wanted a program that could be integrated with Citi Bike, since his constituents tend to work and relax in Manhattan (600 of them already have Citi Bike memberships).
The privately funded Citi Bike Jersey City has 35 stations and 350 bikes, the placement of which, according to the Times, was carefully considered by the Mayor.
Citi Bike had initially urged Mr. Fulop to focus his program downtown, where there was a critical mass of riders, but he rejected that idea. He feared alienating residents in outlying areas where getting to trains often involves driving, waiting for the bus or taking a long walk.
Riders who sign up before September 30th will receive $25 dollars off the $149 annual membership.
During yesterday’s unveiling ceremony, the Mayor, according to NJ.com, “called Citi Bike Jersey City ‘nothing short of … the first new regional transportation system’ launched in the area in decades.”
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.