Bike-share program for Manhattan tenants

June 18, 2013 3:05:53 PM PDT
We've heard a lot lately about New York City's new bike-sharing program.

But there are some residents who are enjoying a similar perk for free.

The buildings come with their own bike sharing programs for renters.

The program launched about a month ago and nearly 3,200 residents have access to the bikes.

They don't have to store them in their apartments or worry about finding a spot to lock them outside.

The building takes care of it all.

"I took it out last weekend and I went down First Avenue," said Brooke Abernathy.

But she isn't talking about her car.

Instead, she heads to her building's garage to take out a bicycle.

She lives at One Carnegie Hill, where there's a bike share program for residents.

"I love the fact that I can rent a bike, go downstairs and get one," said Abernathy.

Residents sign up with Zagster, and when they book a bike, they're sent a special code that unlocks the bike.

"I think we've reached a real tipping point for biking," said Michael Herrington, who oversees the bike share program which is being offered at 9 Manhattan buildings, all of which are managed by Related.

"We felt like having this unique amenity provided a market differentiator for our residents to be able to give them a different transportation option or a lifestyle benefit that's offered elsewhere," said Herrington.

Related's bike share program launched at about the exact same time as the city's.

The biggest difference is the price.

Unlike Citibike, Related's bike share program is free for the first two hours, and just a one time $5 fee after that.

And riders can lock up the bike wherever they want during their ride.

"If I feel like getting some ice cream or lunch, I can just lock it up with the lock over here, and sit outside or do whatever I like," said Abernathy.

So far, a couple of hundred residents have signed on.

And there's another upside: Zagster handles all the bike maintenance.

"If a tire goes out, I don't have to bring it to the store," said Abernathy. "If a chain gets rusty, I don't have to worry about it. I can just put it back. If a bell breaks, I can just press a button and it's really at my disposal. I really appreciate the program."

And she'll be doing lots of riding this summer.

"I would definitely call it a perk. It's a fantastic perk," she said.

Related also offers the program to tenants in Boston and has plans to roll it out to Chicago as well.