To kick off Women’s Bike Month on Monday, Citi Bike announced that with every new rider who uses a specific promo code for a free first ride, the company will make a donation to Girl Up, a UN Foundation initiative that works to achieve gender equality.
Citi Bike officials made the announcement after a group bike ride to City Hall led by Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and accompanied by the New York City Department of Transportation.
Biking has a gender problem, officials say, with women accounting for about a quarter of all bike rides across New York City. Most women cite safety concerns among car traffic as the reason for shying away from bicycles.
“Biking in a city can certainly be intimidating, as anyone who has ridden the streets of New York can testify to,” Rivera said in a statement. “But as a lifelong rider myself, I know that women face increased barriers to entry because of the additional precautions they already have to take when traveling alone through a big city. A key step towards solving this challenge is to increase safe bicycle infrastructure, and I want to commend Citi Bike for the work they do in helping to ease the path to biking safely and in bringing attention to this issue.”
NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg noted that with a record number of protected bike lanes recently built around New York City, officials have seen an increase in the number of female cyclists.
Women’s Bike Month Citi Bike promo
Citi Bike hopes to do even more to increase that number during Women’s Bike Month this October with a promotion that benefits Girls Up.
Any new Citi Bike rider can use the promo code GIRLUP18 this October to get a free 30-minute single ride. With each use of that promo code, Motivate, the company behind the bike share service, will donate $1 to the Girl Up SchoolCycle program, which provides bikes to girls across the world as a way to help them access education and stay in school.
“For many girls in countries like Malawi and Guatemala a bike is the difference between staying in school and having to drop out due to distance,” said Melissa Kilby, Girl Up co-executive director, in a statement. “We’re happy to be partnering with Citi Bike so riders can help more girls get quickly and safely to school through our SchoolCyle program.”
Citi Bike will also host community bike rides throughout October to help get more women biking around New York City, since studies have shown that women are more comfortable biking with a friend. One community ride is scheduled for Oct. 20, where young leaders of Girl Up chapters throughout the New York City metro area will host a group ride open to all. More group rides and Women’s Bike Month events will be announced throughout October.