Huffpost New York

NYC Bike Share Gets Citibank Sponsored 'Citi Bikes' And Summer Launch (PHOTO)

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The city's upcoming bike share program received a big corporate boost from sponsor Citigroup, which Mayor Bloomberg announced on Monday has agreed to shell out $41 million for the highly-anticpated program.

Mastercard has also signed on to help with a pledged $6.5 million to be the system’s “exclusive payment sponsor," equipping stations with "PayPass Tap & Go" functionalities.

Bloomberg said Citibank's partnership will ensure no cost to taxpayers and in return, the 24-hour system will happily brand the bikes Citi Bike.

Also unveiled was Citi Bike's pricing plan for short-term access at $9.95 per day and annual access at $95.

The system will be operated by Alta Bike Share, the same company responsible for constructing bike share programs in Washington D.C. and Boston. The program is slated to roll out this summer with an estimated 10,000 bikes and 600 docking stations set up around the city, making it the largest network of its kind in the country.

Each docking station will have a touch-screen map and security locks (here's a preview of Manhattan's West Side's proposed stations). A lost bike will set you back $1,000.

As for Bloomberg himself, when asked if New Yorkers would be spotting the mayor using the corporate rides, he said he'd try it out but admitted, "Am I going to do it often? Probably not." Can't blame the mayor. Who'd give up the everyman's subway commute via heavily guarded SUV? bikesharepic