The expansion will allow more essential workers to use Citi Bikes during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 30, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, and Lyft announced that Citi and Mastercard had committed $1 million to expand the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program. The program was created by Citi Bike, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and the Department of Transportation to provide essential healthcare and transit workers a free one month Citi Bike membership. Under the expansion, the program would extend the one-month membership and will allow more categories of essential workers to apply for the program.
The Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program was launched on March 25, 2020 to increase transportation access to essential healthcare and transit workers. Initially, the program offered free one month Citi Bike memberships to first responders, healthcare workers, and transit workers in the City. Since the program’s launch, there have been more than 5,000 first responders, healthcare workers, and transit workers who have joined the program. Under the expansion, the program will now offer a free full-year membership and essential City employees and employees at food-related non-profits are now eligible for the program.
Mayor de Blasio stated that the expansion will allow the City to provide expanded access to bike share in underserved areas and will help essential workers during the fight against COVID-19. DOT Commissioner Trottenberg stated that the expansion will enable thousands of essential workers to have safe, healthy, and convenient commutes.
In addition to the expansion of the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program, the Mayor has expanded CitiBike access to Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Elmhurst Hospital, Harlem Hospital, and Lincoln Hospital. This expansion was a response to the increase in CitiBike use outside healthcare centers over the past month. The Mayor also plans to bring more than 100 additional CitiBike stations to Upper Manhattan and the Bronx starting the week of May 4th.
Those eligible for the Citi Bike Critical Workforce Membership Program must sign up for membership through their employers. Employers should email firstname.lastname@example.org for enrollment information and there will be no cost to employers to enroll. Individuals in the program who have recently purchased a Citi Bike membership or have upcoming renewals are also eligible for a free membership. The deadline to sign up for the program is May 31.
By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is the CityLaw Fellow and New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2019)