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Citi Bike offers free month of membership to NYCHA tenants and SNAP recipients

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Eligible New Yorkers can pick up a gift certificate to the blue bikes at 55 libraries

A row of bright-blue Citi Bikes docked at a bike dock. Max Touhey

Books aren’t the only thing you can check out of the library. Citi Bike is offering a free month of membership to NYCHA tenants and SNAP recipients starting on Monday.

Eligible New Yorkers can pick up a gift certificate at one of 55 libraries in Citi Bike’s service area for unlimited 45-minute rides during an initial 30-day period. The promotion is a collaboration between the Lyft-owned bike share company and the city’s New York, Brooklyn, and Queens libraries in celebration of the one-year anniversary of the Reduce Fare Bike Share program, which offers $5 monthly memberships for NYCHA residents and SNAP recipients that does not require an annual commitment.

“As key resources for New Yorkers, Citi Bike and our public libraries are natural partners,” Caroline Samponaro, head of micromobility policy at Lyft, said in a statement. “As Citi Bike expands in the coming years, so too will our efforts to ensure that the system is accessible and equitable for everyone.”

The reduce fare program is geared toward making the system more equitable and accessible—especially as the blue bikes’ expansion sometimes faces opposition from those who perceive the system as a harbinger of gentrification. A typical Citi Bike membership is $169 for 365 days of unlimited 45-minute rides.

So far, more than 7,500 people have participated in the reduced fare program for at least one month, and more than 3,500 New Yorkers are currently enrolled in it. While that number is a sliver of the some 150,000 annual Citi Bike subscribers, the company says, on average, these cyclists ride about twice as often as those with annual memberships do.

Citi Bike seeks to boost the program’s profile as it launches into the Bronx and deeper into the outer boroughs with an expansion that will double its geographic territory by the end of 2023.

Would be riders can sign up online with either their NYCHA account or EBT number once they’ve claimed a gift certificate from a library branch with the option to continue the program at a $5 monthly rate.