Sustainable America Blog

New York City’s Communal Bikes

Imagine 10,000 shared bicycles distributed across 600 stations throughout New York City, all available for just 26 cents a day by purchasing an annual membership. Utilizing a private-public partnership, the city of New York has enlisted Citi Bank and Mastercard to sponsor the bike sharing program. As a result, it is the only network in the country to operate entirely without government subsidies.

Subscriptions to Citi Bike are available in yearly, daily and weekly increments. Only thing to be aware of is that you’re on a time limit. Go over 45 minutes on any one trip and you’ll incur overtime fees – $2.50 for up to 75 minutes with increasing rates the longer you keep the bike in your possession.

Citi Bike crowdsourced the bike station locations by enlisting city residents in a series of online suggestion maps and community workshops. The bikes are available to anyone 16 or older and membership passes can be bought at a Citi Bike station or online. The program is slated to roll out throughout 2012.


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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.

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