Using Citi Bike Data to Chart Trips, Miles, Membership, and Outages

Citi Bike membership (in blue), trips (in yellow), and miles traveled (in red). Image: ##http://quikchange.net/citibike##Antonio D’souza##

Citi Bike is on pace to surpass 40,000 annual members sometime today, and users had made more than 212,000 trips between the Memorial Day launch and yesterday at 5 p.m. These numbers, reported daily on the Citi Bike website, have provided a continuous source of data that Google software engineer Antonio D’souza has charted to illustrate the program’s growth.

Meanwhile, Citi Bike’s software problems have also provided an impetus to build new tools. By flagging stations that have not had activity for three or more daytime hours, WNYC created a map that identifies stations which may currently be inoperable. A glance at the map this afternoon indicates that very few stations are reporting a “flatline.” Of the handful that haven’t seen recent activity, almost all are at the periphery of the system, where they may simply not get much use.

Eventually, Citi Bike is scheduled to create a data portal on its website, similar to the open data page for Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC. For those looking to learn more about working with Citi Bike data, OpenPlans (Streetsblog’s parent organization) is hosting a Citi Bike data night on June 26, where developers will be able to hear from NYC DOT Director of Web and New Media Neil Freeman and demo their apps using Citi Bike data.

  • Bike Share Wannabee

    Trips and miles will really skyrocket when paid “members” get their keys! Paid for my annual membership on the morning of May 30 as member 27,000 and something. Still waiting for my key.

  • Eddie

    Interesting. According to the Citi Bike website, there were 25,276 members as of 5 p.m. on 5/31. I wonder what accounts for the discrepancy.

  • Anonymous

    There appear to be a number of false positives in the “member number” Citi Bike tells users after they sign up online. These numbers seem to always be higher than the reported totals on Citi Bike’s blog.

  • Jared R

    Maybe they do not count members on their blog until the key has actually been activated. That would account for discrepancies between the blog total member count and the number they tell you when you sign up. You’re not official until you’re activated.

  • Anonymous

    I think only the first 20,000 members or so have gotten keys. Maybe they count people who do day trips as “members”

  • Ray Altena

    what’s the point if it doesn’t work? your spandex is too tight.

  • Greg

    Plug for my charting page, too. 🙂

    https://sites.google.com/site/citibikestats/

  • Sunny

    CIti Bike makes the following Facebook post:

    “Right now we have 39,840 members, 15,000 with keys in hand already. By Monday we’ll have an additional 10,000 in the mail and working to clear out our backlog by the end of next week.”

    They also said they aim to mail 3000 keys per day next week.

  • Anonymous

    I think even Citibike is surprised at the tremendous response the program has received despite the fact that they haven’t even covered all of the planned phase 1 areas yet.

    Just shows the tremendous appetite for the program in NYC.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think that is true. Most days they have something like 2500 day and week trips but only 800-1500 more “members”

  • Sara Jones

    Wall Street Journal says Citibike only has 4,500 bikes. NYC clearly has appetite, but Alta and Sadik-Kahn have failed to deliver (and seem to have a penchant for prevarication).

  • Sara Jones

    How can anyone believe any of these numbers. DOT says 6,000 bikes, WSJ says 4,500 bikes. This is one very large joke.

  • Anonymous

    A new variant on Hainline’s Paradox: CIti Bikes are blanketing the city and their riders are endangering themselves and others–but there are no bikes and nobody uses them!

  • Ken

    What? I signed up on n May 27 and got my key on June 6th

  • Greg

    I added some charts last night showing # of operating stations, # of “available bikes”, and # of “workable docks”, as aggregated from CitiBike’s data feed.

    I’m seeing a slow increase in # of operating stations, but still only 309 as of last check. And about 4,500 bikes in the system, as you suggest.

    https://sites.google.com/site/citibikestats/#TOC-Citi-Bike-System-Supply

  • Greg

    Also kind of interesting: if we take (maxAvailableBikes – minAvailableBikes) / maxAvailableBikes to approximate the percentage of bikes that are in transit (vs. docked), it looks like up to 20% of the bikes are in use at peak periods, with a clear correlation between this percentage and weather quality.

    i.e. June 13th, when it downpoured all day, had max 8% of the fleet in transit. But June 9th, which had beautiful weather, had 21% of the fleet out at peak.

  • Greg

    Anedcotal June 15 Popularity Report:

    – Beautiful weather!
    – Rode my own bike! (for a change)

    Outgoing:
    – Brooklyn Heights to Chelsea: BB -> Church St -> Hudson St -> 14th St.
    – Departed 12:45 PM.
    – 29 Citibikes passed.

    Return:
    – Chelsea to Brooklyn Heights: Hudson River bike path -> BB.
    – Departed 2:00 PM.
    – 60 Citibikes passed.
    – One nervous woman trying to cross the busy Hudson River bike path exclaiming “I hate this”.
    – Two riders on the sidewalk.
    – One irritated man on the City Hall Park crossing saying “Bikes not allowed”.
    – Three exhausted Citibikers pushing their bikes up the BB incline.

  • Daphna

    Sunny: Thank you for this information.
    Jared R: I think you may be right. Maybe annual members are not showing on the citibkike blog until they have received their key and activated it. Nyer posted on 6/14 about signing up as an annual member and receiving a membership number in the 78,000’s! This means Alta has a large backlog of fobs to send out to annual members. I look forward to seeing those high membership numbers eventually show on the the citibike blog once those members receive their keys and activate them.

  • Daphna

    A normal, popular, successful bikeshare, such as in Montreal, attracts 10 members for every bike over time – such as 60,000 members for the 6,000 bikes in Montreal bikeshare.

    NYC is blowing away all these records. With only 4,500 bikes in NYC (actual number, not inflated inaccurate 6,000 number) that would mean attracting 45,000 annual members in the first year. Instead NYC Bikeshare seems to already have over 78,000 members (Nyer posted about receiving a number that high when signing up 2 days ago) just 2 weeks after launch or 3 weeks after start of preview week. Citibike is wildly popular beyond all projections and expectations!!!

    Now Alta Planning, Alta Bikeshare, NYC Bikeshare, NYC DOT, Citibank and Mastercard all need to sit down together asap and:
    1) get the software de-bugged and running accurately
    2) figure out how to rapidly expand citibike to meet demand

  • Stephanie

    I signed up on May 24 and i am still waiting for my key. Is is especially frustrating when i see more and more people enjoying their citibikes. I went for a 24-hour pass just so i can try it out already.

  • Anonymous

    There’s also the possibility that “member numbers” count up as daily and weekly memberships are purchased as well.

  • The hudson river crossing areas really are terrible. Cyclists refuse to stop.

  • carma

    riding on the bb path is certainly not the most pleasurable as there is so little room to maneuver. especially with the WIDE handlebars of a citibike combined with 45lbs of steel.

    riding my own bike on BB is not too bad with the exception of narrow lanes.

    im sure those who use citibike for the BB path will eventually get used to it as their leg muscles will strengthen up for its uphill challenge.

  • Anonymous

    Now if only these users had the skill and wisdom to ride properly in this city. Last night I witnessed a Citibiker Salmoning down the First Ave bike lane while texting as well as many wobbly, swerving, excessively slow Citibikers in Brooklyn and Manhattan threatening the safety of everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Why would any reasonable and responsible cyclist ride the Brooklyn Bridge other than approximately 2am – 9am? That behavior puts everyone at risk. Manhattan Bridge is less than a mile away.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, people riding slowly on bikes: they harm so many people every year!

    And a true story: yesterday afternoon I saw a Zipcar driver texting while driving in busy traffic down Atlantic Ave.

    Quick question: which can do more harm to others–the person I saw or the person you saw? If you say “both could equal amounts of harm,” you don’t understand physics.

  • Anonymous

    Why would any reasonable and responsible driver take the Brooklyn Bridge other than approximately 2am – 9am? That behavior puts
    everyone at risk. Manhattan Bridge is less than a mile away.

    [One potential answer: to get to the other side.]

  • Anonymous

    There is a bike lane on the Brooklyn Bridge. If anyone is irresponsible, it is the pedestrians who block it.

    Now, some people might argue that we should reserve the bridge for tourists and get rid of the bike lane. That’s an interesting discussion to have, but it has nothing to do with whether cyclists using the existing bike lane are being responsible.

  • Chris M

    No, it’s 43,000 annual members currently. They must increment that membership id to include daily and weekly pass users.

    So NYC does have about 10x as many yearly members as bikes and perhaps that is a good metric for expansion.

  • danvk

    This chart is somewhat misleading because it shows cumulative rides, which can only increase over time. Here’s a version which shows daily rides instead: http://www.danvk.org/wp/2013-06-22/daily-citibike-usage/. The trend is still up and to the right!

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