10 Incredible Bike Share Programs Across the US (That are Cheaper Than Driving a Car)

SAVING & SPENDING - TRAVEL
Ditch the car and rent a bike in these great cities.
Updated April 11, 2024
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bicycle rental system.

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With the ever-fluctuating price of gas, the unsustainable reality of fossil fuel, and inflation increasing the prices of cars, bike travel is a seriously underutilized form of transportation. Many urban centers in the U.S. are addressing this issue by instituting bike share systems that allow residents and tourists alike to travel and explore what the city has to offer. Riding bikes, instead of driving, can help keep your costs down while still getting around.

Between the cost to rent a bike, how many bikes a system has, and how many docking stations are located around the city, not all bike share systems are created equal. Here are 10 of the best bike share systems across the U.S to help you plan your next two-wheel adventure.

Washington D.C.

Don Landwehrle/Adobe man riding a bike at the Washington Monument

Washington D.C. is home to Capital Bikeshare. With 5,000 bikes and over 600 docking stations, this system enables riders to really explore museums, monuments, and more. A single trip costs $1 and for $8, you’ll get a full day pass. Annual memberships cost $7.92 a month with an upfront fee of $95.

Pro tip: If you’re traveling to D.C. for sight-seeing, make sure to book your trip using one of the best travel credit cards so you can rack up points for future vacations.

Chicago

Jim Glab/Adobe joggers and cyclists in Chicago along the Lake Michigan shoreline

Chicago uses the Divvy Bikes share system which boasts thousands of bikes and hundreds of docking stations. A single trip costs $3.30, a day-pass costs $15, and an annual membership costs $9 a month. The Lakefront Trail runs north and south, connecting you to many of Chicago’s best attractions.

New York City

Tupungato/Adobe Citibike bicycle sharing station in New York

NYC Operates their bike share system through Citi Bike, which has more than 24,500 bikes and 15,000 docking stations. A single ride costs $3.99, a day trip costs $15, and an annual membership also costs $15. The Hudson River Greenway has a dedicated bike path that offers terrific waterfront views.

Minneapolis

CK/Adobe street view on Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis Minnesota

Nice Ride in Minneapolis offers day passes for $6 — a single trip costs $2.50 and an annual membership is $17 a month. With plenty of docking stations spanning the best sights in the city, Riders can explore the city from the north end of town down to its southern edge by bike.

Pro tip: Minneapolis has a famously long winter, and like most bike share systems, Nice Ride is only available during the warmer months.

Honolulu

rathchapon/Adobe silhouette Father and son riding bicycle at sunset sky

Honolulu has a lot to brag about, namely, being paradise. But it is also home to Biki, a bike share system with 130 docking stations and pricing designed for tourists. For $25, you can buy 300 minutes that you can use at any time, for as many rides as you can squeeze in. While the voyager package also costs $25 and will give you a month's worth of rides up to 60 minutes a piece, $15 will get you a month’s worth of 30 minute rides.

Pro tip: Using a bike share system for your next Hawaiian vacation will allow you to affordably explore one of the most beautiful U.S. islands in style. Your bike rides could include a visit to the Waikiki Aquarium and Foster Botanical Garden.

Boston

Belikova Oksana/Adobe Old South Church (Third Church) in Boston

With over 4,000 bikes and 400 docking stations, Bluebikes serves the Boston metro with a bike share system tailored for tourists and residents alike. There are several price packages — a $12 a month annual membership, a $26.75 monthly membership that offers riders month-to-month flexibility, $10 for a 24-hour pass, and $2.50 for a single ride up to 30 minutes long.

Pro tip: Kendall Square has miles of bike lanes perfect for riders who are eager to explore the fascinating architecture that makes up the MIT campus.

Portland

MISHELLA/Adobe  Bike sharing program

Biketown is Portland's bike share system and its pricing is pretty straightforward. You can buy a year's subscription for $99 or pay $1 unlocking fee for a single trip, plus 20 cents a minute. Biketown has 1,500 bikes and over 180 stations. Riders that have a bit of a sweet tooth can take the Waterfront Park Trail to SW Ankeny and visit the iconic Voodoo Doughnut.

Pro tip: Portland offers motorized bikes as well as pedal bikes. So, make the most of those 20 cent minutes, and get where you’re going quickly.

Philadelphia

Spiroview Inc./Adobe Philadelphia skyline

You can explore the historic city of Philadelphia on bike through Indego. A 24-hour pass costs $12 and $17 will get you a 30-day pass, and $156 will get you an annual pass. Riders can check out the neighborhood guides put together by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and explore the city’s many hidden gems.

Pro tip: If you’re a resident, having a Pennsylvania access pass means you can save money by getting discounted monthly and annual rates.

Miami

lazyllama/Adobe bright scenic morning view of the beachfront

Miami’s bike share system is run by Citi Bike Miami. Miami has extensive bike paths, and you can ride through Oleta River State Park over to Miami Beach. A day pass costs $24 or you can rent a bike for one hour for $6.95. Citi Bike Miami also offers a $25 monthly subscription for 30 days worth of unlimited 60-minute rides or you can pay $15 for a month of 30-minute rides.

Seattle

kiri/Adobe bicycle on city background

Seattle is home to two bike share systems: Lime and Veo. Lime bikes are electrically assisted pedal bikes while Veo bikes have throttle-controlled motors. Neither system offers an annual or daily pass, but instead they both have a $1 unlocking fee, and Lime charges an extra 36 cents a minute, while Veo charges an extra 29 cents a minute.

Pro tip: Ride the 520 bike trail to catch incomparable views of Lake Washington.

Bottom line

EFStock/Adobe blond woman taking a red bicycle in a bike rental station

The United States is full of beautiful places, ancient landmarks, and rich history. If you plan to explore these sights on a bike though, don’t forget your helmet. Many states have helmet laws in place to keep bicyclists safe.

Bike shares are environmentally friendly, a great way to save money, get exercise, and they are a whole lot of fun. With bike shares now the norm in most major U.S. cities, consider hopping on a bike when embarking on your next adventure.

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Olivia Christensen Olivia Christensen is a freelance writer and columnist whose work has been featured in HuffPost, Business Insider, and more. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and three kids, and when she isn't writing, she's probably hiking.

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