In the past few weeks, NYC-based readers may have noticed clusters of grey columns popping up left and right in nearly every neighborhood in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Those familiar with bike share programs in numerous metropolises around the world will recognize the bays as docking stations for the city's soon-to-be bike share system. Launching this Memorial Day, 27 May, the Citi Bike program will introduce 6,000 bicycles and and some 330 stations to the masses; encouraging locals and tourists alike to borrow a bike for 30-45 minutes at a time. To kick off the program, today sees the release of the highly anticipated iPhone and android Citi Bike app.
Using Google API, the app's homepage brings up a map of your immediate surroundings, offering a direct line of sight to the nearest docking stations—which are cleverly represented by partially shaded icons indicating the ratio of open docks to available bikes. Once you determine where you want to snag a bike from, the app provides turn by turn directions to your destination. If you don't know where to go, use the native search to find points of interest nearby. The helpful app also features safety tips, notes on local bike laws and contact info in case of mechanical failure.
Developed by advertising agency Publicis Kaplan Thaler for NYC Bike Share, the well-considered app has been under construction since the Citi Bike program was announced. And now it's available to the public for free. Download the app for iPhone or Android directly today to be ready for the Citi Bike launch on 27 May 2013.
Lead image by Graham Hiemstra, screengrabs courtesy of Citi Bike