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New York embraces bikes for the summer

New York, July 2 (IANS/EFE) New York City’s famous yellow cabs will have to share the streets with the blue rental bicycles that have invaded thoroughfares across Manhattan in the past month, making it easier for people in the Big Apple to get around on two wheels.

New Yorkers and visitors have pedalled more than 1.5 million km during the first four weeks of the “Citi Bike” program, the public bicycle rental program rolled out in Gotham.

The program has already racked up 45,000 annual pass users and more than 55,000 occasional cyclists, who use the blue bikes to go to work, make a quick run to the bakery or just get some exercise.

Executives in suits and ties, exercise buffs and tourists are among those who can be spotted on the rental bikes on Manhattan’s streets.

The $10 daily rental rate is much higher than the fees charged by comparable programs in London and Paris, but it still beats the cost of a taxi and is competitive with the $2.50 basic subway or bus fare.

Only time will tell, however, whether the rental bikes are a summer fad or are here to stay, taking their place in New York’s transportation mix as they have in European cities.

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