January 18, 2022
Citi commits to fund free two-month memberships for hospital employees on the front lines of the battle against COVID and the Omicron variant
NEW YORK, NY—New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, and Lyft today announced that Citi is committing funding to restart the Citi Bike Medical Workers Program, making free 60-day memberships available to hospital workers as they continue the fight against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. Public and private hospital employees, including custodial workers and other support staff, will be eligible to sign up for the program through their place of employment until February 7, 2022.
“Our healthcare heroes are fighting for New Yorkers every day, and this is one way that we can say thank you,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “I know firsthand that riding a bike is good for physical and mental health, and I would encourage all the hard-working healthcare workers to take advantage if they can, keeping us rolling toward a real recovery for our city. Thank you to Citi and Lyft for providing this important opportunity.”
“We must work together as one city to support our frontline healthcare workers as they once again pull us through the pandemic. Today, New York City, Lyft, and Citi demonstrate just how this is done. Our City’s frontline healthcare workers get a free 60-day Citi membership to New York City’s bikeshare system. Thanks to this donation our critical care workers get no-cost access to critical mobility as they continue to tirelessly work to keep us all healthy and strong,” said Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor for Operations.
As New York City and cities across the country respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 virus, while working to offer transportation options for essential workers, bikeshare systems continue to operate across the country. Meanwhile, the Citi Bike program has continued to set ridership records throughout the pandemic and in 2021, making it the 25th most ridden transit network in the United States, ahead of San Antonio and just behind the New Jersey PATH Train.
More than 33,000 first-responder, healthcare, and transit workers joined a previous version of this program when the pandemic first began in 2020, taking over 1.25 million rides in total. The bikeshare station at 68th Street and 1st Avenue – located near the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York-Presbyterian, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – rose from the 59th most used station in the year before the pandemic to the single most used station in the Citi Bike system in 2020. Similarly, the bikeshare station at 33rd Street and 1st Avenue – also located near NYU Langone, Bellevue, and the VA New York Harbor Hospital – rose from the 58th most-used station to 10th. Given this increased demand, Lyft and the NYC DOT coordinated to add Citi Bike stations outside of Harlem Hospital and Lincoln Hospital.
“Cycling has played a critical role in keeping New York City moving during the pandemic,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We thank Lyft and Citi for the Citi Bike Medical Workers Program, which will provide an equitable, safe, and enjoyable way to commute for our most essential workers on the frontlines fighting to keep us healthy and safe.”
Critical Workforce Membership Program Details:
“At Citi, we are extremely grateful for our hospital workers, who time and again throughout this global pandemic have relentlessly cared for New Yorkers and put themselves in harm’s way in doing so,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Head of Public Affairs. “Funding two-month memberships is one way for us to show our appreciation and help support our front-line healthcare heroes as cases rise once again.”
“Time and time again the Citi Bike system has proven to be an extremely resilient form of transit, whether it was providing critical rides during the first wave of the pandemic or breaking our daily ridership record the day after Hurricane Ida hit,” said Caroline Samponaro, Vice President of Micromobility and Transit Policy at Lyft. “Thanks to Citi, which has a history of supporting bikeshare in New York, we will be able to step up for our brave frontline healthcare workers, as they continue to take care of us during the latest wave of Covid cases caused by the omicron variant.”
Participating institutions include:
“I commend New York City Mayor Adams, DOT Commissioner Rodriguez, Lyft, and each of the participating medial institutions on today’s announcement to offer free Citi Bike services to healthcare workers throughout our city,” said Representative Adriano Espaillat. “Our healthcare workers have served on the frontlines of our city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic since day one, and this effort is our way of saying thank you to them for their selfless work to help keep our families and communities safe as we.”
“I support the commitment of funding by the Mayor’s office, DOT, and other partners, to restart the Citi Bike program membership for the Medical Workers that serve our communities. As a bike rider myself, it’s exciting to see transportation options continuing to expand for those at the frontlines caring for our neighbors, family, and friends during the latest wave of Covid cases. To provide free Citi Bike memberships to healthcare heroes is a step towards providing them with additional tools to continue fighting for New Yorkers every day. To brave healthcare workers out there, enjoy your ride, and please don’t forget to wear a helmet!” said State Senator Robert Jackson.
“Our essential healthcare workers have served on the frontlines of this pandemic, and continuing to provide them with free Citi Bike memberships is among the many ways for us to show our appreciation,” said City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “I am thankful to Citi and Lyft for jumpstarting this program that will benefit our hardworking hospital staff and employees.”
“Today we extend a thank you to healthcare employees who have put their lives on the line day in and day out to protect the people of this city. I will continue to stand with our healthcare workers advocating for demands such as better wages, burnout, and childcare,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa.
“We are so grateful to our team of health care heroes, who have been working tirelessly through nearly two years of the pandemic, and are so pleased to offer them this healthy and sustainable commuting option,” said Dr. Laureen Hill, Group Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia Division. “Thank you to everyone involved for making this fantastic resource available.”
“Having access to reliable transportation to hospitals and medical centers is key to ensuring health care workers can continue providing life-saving care and support in the fight against COVID-19,” said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. “The Citi Bike Medical Workers Program is another way to make sure our frontline workers can get where they need to go sustainably and efficiently.”
“Citi Bike is mainstream – and socially distant – city transportation. It’s great to see CitiBike continue to build on its strengths to help New York and our medical community manage the latest phase of the pandemic,” said Jon Orcutt, Advocacy Director at Bike New York.