America,  Florida,  TDM,  Tips,  USA

CitiBike: the self-service bike rental service in Miami (USA)

In Miami and Miami Beach, CitiBike offers self-service bike rentals, a system similar to what Velib can offer in Paris for example.

Cycling is really the ideal means of transportation to get around Miami Beach, a pedestrian and bicycle road runs along the beach from north to south and there are many bicycle paths on the other routes.

It can be used in two ways:

  • With a subscription, you will need to get a pass
  • Without subscription, a credit card is sufficient

CitiBike’s service is really great, there is a huge density of stations and it’s rare to make two blocks without seeing a station. The bikes are in very good condition, I’ve never fallen on a flat or derailed bike as it often happened to me in Paris.

CitiBike Miami’s rates

As you can see on the picture below, the rates are relatively high if you use CitiBike without subscription, 4.5 dollars for 30 minutes, 24 dollars for 24h, to which you have to add taxes.

To subscribe to one of these offers, simply go to a terminal at any station with your credit card. Small detail because not natural for us French, it is necessary to swiper his credit card, i.e. insert it and withdraw it immediately, without even having entered his code.

Once the steps are taken, you can use, return and take back a bike as many times as you wish during the chosen period.

If you stay several days in Miami, it is very interesting to subscribe to the “30 Day Deluxe Membership Pass” offer. This offer costs 35 dollars (plus taxes) and allows, during 30 days, to use CitiBike in an unlimited way (with a maximum use of one hour each time but you can then return your bike and take it back without limit).

It isn’t possible to subscribe to this offer directly at the terminals. You can pre-register online but the website isn’t very well done, the easiest way is to go to the store since you will have to go there anyway to get your pass (I think it is still possible to get it delivered).

The store is located in South Beach at this address: 723 Washington Avenue. It isn’t very visible so here is a small picture.

You must go there with an ID and your credit card . In a few minutes you will leave with a pass like this one which will be used to unlock the bikes in all the stations. The CitiBike employee will show you how to use the pass (there is a test terminal in the store). It’s not as intuitive as that so take the time to test it to make sure it’s good.

The bikes

CitiBike bikes are very well made, light and in good condition. You have a basket at the front, very handy for shopping or taking things to the beach. A crutch makes it easy to stop and take pictures. It has 3 gears, which is sufficient because Miami and Miami Beach are very flat cities.

The only small defect, it lacks to my taste an anti-theft device to be able to stop for a few minutes for a race, it will necessarily have to be returned to a station before resuming one.

The CitiBike application

A CitiBike application is available on Android and iOS.

The application is from another time, impossible to reserve a bike, to know how long you’ve been using the bike, to check that the bike has been returned…

Its interest lies in being able to find stations and check if a bike is available or if a dock is available to return it.

As you can see, the resort density is really huge, especially in South Beach. This makes it easy to find bikes, even if it’s maybe a bit less easy in the evening on weekends

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