Citi Bike and Lyft Just Launched a More Powerful E-Bike in NYC With Noteworthy Improvements

Photo credit: Courtesy of Lyft

Photo credit: Courtesy of Lyft

  • Citi Bike and Lyft have launched a more powerful e-bike in NYC.

  • Riders will enjoy a farther battery range, increased visibility, and more watts.

New York City’s bike share, Citi Bike, just rolled out its latest addition to the fleet of commuter bikes stationed throughout the city. And rather than just a new colorway, Citi Bike has gone big with the addition of thousands of new e-bikes. After partnering with Lyft, e-bikes were added to the Citi Bike fleet, but this addition will increase the number and address some of the issues with the current batch of e-bikes.

First, these new e-bikes are both powerful and extremely user-friendly. A single charge provides 60 miles of assisted riding, and the motor gives you a 500-watt boost. The bikes also come equipped with front lights, and the frames are painted with reflective paint (like street signs). You don’t even have to shift: The bike has a single gear transmission, and will auto-shift for you.

This next generation of e-bikes had to address the unique issue of e-bikes for bike-sharing. It also had to be easy to operate, charge fast, be safe, and be relatively hard to damage or break since bike-share repairs aren’t easy. And because e-bikes can go at speeds much higher than most standard commuter bikes, designing for safe handling, visibility, and easy braking was critical.

“Our design team created an e-bike New Yorkers will love, and one that’s built to last. We’re very excited to grow Lyft’s Citi Bike options and bring more safety and joy to bike riding,” said John Zimmer, president, and cofounder of Lyft, in Citi Bike’s blog.

There are currently 24,500 bikes (including e-bikes and regular Citi Bikes) in NYC, with over 1,500 docking stations where you can pick up and return the bikes. It makes sense that Citi Bike is adding more and more bikes (and riding options) to their fleets since 2021 saw huge increases in ridership: Last May, Citi Bike had its highest number of weekly rides, with 631,314 rides from May 9 to May 15. And Saturday, May 15, 2021, had the biggest day for total rides in Citi Bike history, with 118,590 rides tabulated. It’s not surprising that 2020 and 2021 saw a boost in ridership, since many New Yorkers opted out of taking the subway due to COVID concerns.

“E-bikes have become the first choice of Citi Bike riders. Our new e-bike is the best yet with a beautiful modern design, industry-leading safety technology, and a low carbon footprint,” said Laura Fox, Lyft general manager of Citi Bike, in their blog.

The new bikes are available with early access to Citi Bike and Lyft Pink members, though you can get a free 15-day trial to Citi Bike by signing up on the app. A Citi Bike membership works out to under 51 cents per day, so if you are an NYC-based apartment dweller who prefers not to leave an expensive bike locked up outside in the city, Citi Bike is a solid deal, especially if you want the opportunity to snag an e-bike if you’re running late to a meeting or just don’t want to show up super sweaty. (Single ride and full-day passes are also available for tourists or, if you prefer, a commitment-free ride.)

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