Issue 31 | May 2023
While cars are convenient and walking is wonderful, bikes provide the perfect pace to explore urban areas. You’re moving slowly enough that you can actually get a good look at what’s around you but you’re moving fast enough that you can cover a lot of ground. Getting around by bike also provides the added convenience of being able to quickly hop off your wheels to explore whatever might catch your eye. And while Hudson County is a phenomenal place to ride around on your own bicycle (and you can even bring your bike on the trains and ferries that connect New Jersey with Manhattan), sometimes, it’s a lot more convenient to use a bike share bike.
How Does Citi Bike Work?
Bike share programs are popping up all over the country and here in Hudson County, we use Citi Bike, which originally started in a handful of neighborhoods in New York City and has since expanded across its five boroughs and on to Hoboken and Jersey City. As both New York and New Jersey are part of the same program, you can use the service across both states. Currently, there are over 80 Citi Bike stations around Hoboken and Jersey City and we expect even more in the future.
If you live in New York City and already have a Citi Bike membership, you can use the same key fob or phone app system you’ve always used. If you don’t yet have a membership, you can check out the Citi Bike pricing and choose the plan that works best for you, which can then be used in both states. Single rides are $3.99 and last 30 minutes. They can also be booked through the Lyft app, since Lyft acquired the company. Day passes cost $15 and allow unlimited 30-minute rides during a 24-hour period. If you opt for the annual membership ($15/month), you’ll get unlimited 45-minute rides. Note that all of these rides are on Citi Bike’s “classic” bikes. E-bikes are available and easily identified on the website station map and phone apps but they cost a little extra.
Bike stations can be found on the online Citi Bike map and stations also typically have printed maps that show where other nearby Citi Bike stations are located. That said, you will still want to download the Citi Bike phone app, which available through Apple and Google Play.
Whether you get to Jersey City by car, ferry, or PATH train, you’ll have plenty of options for where to pick up a Citi Bike. The densest concentration of bikes can be found around the Grove Street PATH station and downtown – two areas that are perfect for exploring by bike and foot. Drop your bike at a station, grab a bite to eat at one of the rooftop restaurants, and check out the Jersey City Mural Arts Program, including works by world-renowned street artist, Shepard Fairey. Several CitiBike stations are sprinkled around the Journal Square PATH train station, where you’ll also find the Little India neighborhood (the best place in Jersey for authentic Indian cuisine) and the tobacco warehouse turned art museum and exhibition space, Mana Contemporary.
Bike lanes crisscross much of Jersey City and Hoboken so if you’re most comfortable riding on protected paths, pull up the Citi Bike app or even the Google Maps app, which denotes bike paths in green. From Jersey City, you could take streets up to Hoboken or you could meander along the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, stopping for a bite to eat here, a drink there, followed by photos with impressive, larger-than-life sculptures dotting the path. In Hoboken, have your pick of parks along the waterfront, such as Sinatra Park, where you’ll find a statue of the Hoboken native. If you visit on the weekend, look out for food trucks parked everywhere from the Hoboken PATH station up to Weehawken, which is about a 20-minute bike ride along the waterfront path. Next, drop your bike at a station along Washington Street and stroll along the city’s main drag to find food, fun, drinks, and shopping.