Weeks before Art Basel Miami Beach, residents and workers in the downtown area noticed silver, robotic-looking structures going up around popular buildings. Outside the New Times offices in Wynwood we also noticed one of these contraptions that looked like a super sleek station for bikes.
The slots are indeed for bicycles, but not for the pink, white-tassled bicycle of your halcyon youth. Like a power outlet for that awkward three-prong plug, these spots are only for the chunky blue Citi Bikes.
Citi Bike Miami finally launches this weekend.
The announcement was made back in October that Citi Bike would be partnering with DecoBike to bring the bike-sharing program to our city and expand from Miami Beach to include areas like downtown Miami, Little Havana, and Wynwood.
The way that Citi Bike works is you unlock a bike from one of the various stations spread out around town, you then proceed to take it for a pleasurable spin, and then when you're done, simply return it to any station. Ba-da-bing!
Citi's docking stations are solar-powered and, according to their website, there are 100 stations around Miami and Miami Beach, each have 10 bikes available and more stations coming soon. Since this bike-sharing program is self-serve, bikes are available to unlock all day, everyday, all year round.
Users can either rent a bike at an hourly rate or you can take out a monthly membership.
The cost is surprisingly affordable, the first 30 minutes costs $4 and the first hour $6. And a standard monthly rate is just $15 a month for unlimited 30 minute rides -- that's roughly the same as your monthly membership to Netflix and Spotify, because we know you're totally streaming your entertainment legally.
Bike sharing programs are popular in cities as an alternative to public transportation -- like Hubway in Boston and Citi Bike in New York City -- but in Miami, where so many residents drives cars everywhere, it seems as if Citi Bike might tailor their services towards the tourists rather than locals.
A quick look at the map of stations shows major saturation all over the South Beach area, but there are promises to add more stations to the surrounding areas.
On Saturday, the official launch will kick off with a celebration at Bayfront Park with food, music, and even a live mural painting. Community members can also enter to win a free one-day membership for Citi Bike and some limited edition bike helmets created by the TM Sisters.
The Citi Bike Miami launch takes place at Bayfront Park on Saturday, December 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Event is free and open to the public. Visit citibikemiami.com.
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