Citibank to Sponsor City's Bike-Share Program

Citibank is the title sponsor of the city's bike share program, which is scheduled to roll out in Manhattan and Brooklyn this summer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday

Citibank will be the primary sponsor of the “citibike” bike share program, with a $41 million, 5-year contract.  Mastercard will also kick in $6.5 million, and will operate the payment system for the bikes.

“We’re getting an entirely new transit system at a cost of zero to the taxpayers,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, who for the first time presided over a bike share announcement himself at a City Hall plaza news conference adorned by sample bikes and a sample docking station.

But today’s celebratory announcement at City Hall plaza was tempered by the news that several neighborhoods in the city won’t see bike share until 2013.

This is the first time the city has acknowledged publicly that some parts of the city within the bike share zone won’t see bike share this year.

“It’s going to be a phased deployment,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said at the announcement.   “I mean we can’t just airdrop 10,000 bikes in.  So it will be between August and the Spring of 2013 that we will have the full system.”

Sadik-Khan wouldn’t say which neighborhoods would be getting the bikes at first, but she did say the DOT will release maps later this week that will indicate where the bikes will go.

She also didn’t say when the decision to phase in the bike share program was made.

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