Governors Island Ferry Dock

Governors Island, New York

 Governors Island 2017 

Governors Island is open and hosts events from May 1 to October 31.

What to do on Governors Island

While many take the ferry to Governors Island–ten minutes from Manhattan and two dollars round trip fare–for music festivals, performances, art exhibits, historic building tours and more, we escaped mass moving Manhattan on a cloudy weekday to see something different, at our own pace.

Manhattan Skyline

Lower Manhattan rises across the harbor from Governors Island, New York.

The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island

The Statue of Liberty stands proudly on Liberty Island.

Staten Island Ferry from Governors Island

The Staten Island Ferry cruises New York Harbor.

We rode bikes without dodging people or vehicles. We drifted through paths lined with perennial gardens where golden rudbeckias, pink cone flowers, and mixed grasses swayed. We saw Manhattan’s skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Staten Island Ferry from a unique perspective. We spied star-shaped Fort Jay and toured Castle Williams, a circular fort that imprisoned Confederate soldiers. We passed food trucks, Island Oyster restaurant and bar, hammocks, a compost learning center, a teaching garden, and an unusual junkyard adventure playground.

The Freedom Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center rises in the background.

We rode Citi Bikes on Governors Island, New York.

Castle Williams was a prison for confederate soldiers.

Castle Williams is the “best preserved circular fortification in the nation.” https://govisland.com/activities/castle-williams

Adventure Playground NYC

Children create with scrap materials

Governors Island junkyard playground sparks children’s creativity.

The junkyard playground allows children six to twelve years old to build and experiment with scrap materials using hammers, nails, and saws, while supervisors watch and parents are kept at bay. Boards, sheets, blankets, rubber tires, metal sheets, orange construction cones, wheels, and large plastic duct tubes–large enough to crawl through–are examples of junk that litters the playground. Though the facility was closed when we visited, it is open on Saturdays and Sundays until September 25, and children can attend weekly camps.

Adventure Playground on Governors Island, NY

Children experiment with scrap materials creating a structure.

Adventure Playground

Children can attend weekly summer camps in the junkyard playground.

Junkyard Playground

Supervisors keep parents away while children build with junk.

 

Though we didn’t attend any scheduled events or mix with crowds, we unwound, exercised, and learned. Though I love Manhattan, Governors Island was a nice diversion.

Governors Island Ferry Schedule

 

 

 

 

 

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The Freedom Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center rises in the background.

Warning: ​Citi Bike Overage Fees

Citi Bike App

These are the facts, and you be the judge. My daughter, J, and I rented Citi Bikes in New York on Governors Island, a ten-minute ferry ride from Manhattan. I downloaded the Citi Bike app on my iPhone and paid twelve dollars for the day pass which is good for 24 hours. I received a code to unlock the bike.

We explored the island and returned the bikes. J docked her bike. She snapped it in the rack, and the light blinked green indicating that she locked it properly. She helped me dock mine. It clicked in, and we both saw the green light flash.

Citi Bike Customer Service

We boarded the ferry and headed back to Manhattan. At 5:20, after the last ferry had left from Manhattan to Governors Island for the day, I received an email from Citi Bike that read that my bike hadn’t been seen for three hours. I called the number, and the agent stated that they knew that the bike was at the docking station and that I had tried to secure it but it wasn’t done properly. He also said that they were charging me additional fees until it was latched. I had the option to jump in a cab and take the ferry to Governors Island that had stopped running for the day or swim over and re-dock the bike.

I said, “I already regret that I rented the bike, I’m not taking a ferry back, and I have a train tomorrow morning. What do you want me to do?”

He said that my best bet was that someone would rent the bike tomorrow, and the charges would stop.

I sent an email to customer service about my bad experience with Citi Bike, and I wrote that I felt that we had fastened the bike correctly and I didn’t understand why I had to pay more. I also wrote that I am a blogger and I had planned to write a good review.

Citi Bike Cost

I received an email the next day that congratulated me for docking the bike correctly and that they would remove the $100 penalty. A Citi Bike agent explained that it is not a bike rental but a bike share.

Citi Bike Usage Fees for a Day Pass or 3-Day Pass

According to Citi Bike, “The first 30 minutes of each ride are included in the pass price. If you keep a bike out for longer than 30 minutes at a time, it’s an extra $4 for each additional 15 minutes.

To avoid additional usage fees, keep your rides to 30 minutes each. Take as many rides as you want while your pass is active!”

In other words, you have to dock the bike for two minutes for each 30 minute-ride to avoid a $4 fee.

Citi Bike Annual Membership

An annual membership is $14.95 per month or $163 per year. The first 45 minutes are included, but you are charged an additional $2.50 for each 15 additional minutes unless you dock the bike between rides.

Citi Bike Complaints

A Citi Bike agent admitted that they have received complaints about these fees. However, they have your credit card on file and can deduct the penalties.

I wonder how many customers Citi Bike has hammered with overcharges. Do you think that the average person would know that the bike is subject to these fines? What are your thoughts?