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Bike Share Program Start Dates Announced

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Beginning Memorial Day, riders who sign up for a yearly membership in the "Citi Bikes" bike sharing program will be able to go for a ride. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

New York's first bike share program, the largest in the country, has an official start date: Memorial Day.

"It's a great day for it, because there is less traffic on the streets," said New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "It will be easier for people to see how the system works."

On May 27, annual members will be the first to use the program, which boasts some 6,000 bikes at 330 stations in Manhattan and in parts of Brooklyn. It will expand to daily users on June 2.

The announcement was made at a City Council hearing on Thursday, and it comes after about a year of delay.

The program went off road because of technical difficulties and damage during Hurricane Sandy.

The commissioner said 8,000 people have already signed up for an annual membership at $95.

Glen Nison was one them.

"I should be getting my key, I guess, in a couple of weeks, and I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I have a station in front of my building at home, and I have one right in front of my work building."

The stations have not been welcomed in every community. They have been called eyesores. Residents have complained that they take away parking. Nonetheless, Sadik-Khan said she is working with every community to make sure they are put in the right place.

"We're working with them individually," she said. "We're working, like we do with all of our projects, to tweak it and move forward from there,"

"I do think that this program has potential, but I do worry that sometimes it will frustrate New Yorkers who can't find that parking space or merchants who do not think that access to their store is as accessible as it was before the bike share stations were erected," said Bronx City Councilman James Vacca.

Some users said there is plenty of room on the road for bike share.

"This will not be that much space taken up, compared to what cars take up," Nison said.

To sign up, visit citibikenyc.com.

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