NYC warms to ‘bike share’ as rising oil prices hurt
A woman rides her bike in New York streets, which are expected to be frequented by more bikes in coming weeks. (Photo: Today's Zaman)
A constant surge in global oil prices might push more New Yorkers to garage their cars and switch to pedals. A newly introduced program called Bike Share is designed to give what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls “Skip the hike; take a bike” initiative a boom in this large US city.
As part of the program, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to rent thousands of bicycles available at docking stations in various parts of the city. Each dock will have 60 bikes. Citigroup has donated $41 million to support the project, the largest bike-sharing program in the US. The new program kicks of in Manhattan in July with approximately 10,000 bikes for rent. Renting a bike for 24 hours costs $9.95, and the city offers the bikes free of charge for half an hour use, Bloomberg told reporters on Thursday. The cost for one-day use is relatively more expensive, though. The city of Boston offers the same service for $4. The project estimates that 54 percent of NYC residents use bikes for an average 3.2 kilometers a day. New York City said those who fail to return the bikes would be fined $1,000.
Observers argued a similar project should also be implemented in İstanbul where residents suffer from heavily congested traffic. The average price of a gallon of gas in New York City currently stands at $4, while this number is $9.1 in İstanbul, one of the highest in the world.