Citi Bike Carries More Riders on Fewer Bikes Than London Bike-Share

The gray and black lines represent Citi Bike average weekday and weekend ridership, respectively. The red, orange, green and blue lines represent different years of Barclays Cycle Hire average daily ridership. Image: ##http://oliverobrien.co.uk/2013/11/citibike-beating-barclays-cycle-hire/##Oliver O'Brien##

Five months after its launch, Citi Bike is already moving more people than its larger, more established sister program in London, according to an analysis by University College of London researcher Oliver O’Brien.

Using data feeds from Citi Bike and Transport for London, O’Brien calculated the average number of trips taken on both systems during weekdays and weekends each month. New York, which pulled even with London’s peak usage in July, has been ahead since August, despite having fewer bikes available. Citi Bike, which by O’Brien’s count has approximately 4,500 bikes in circulation (counting bikes out of circulation, the system has about 5,700), is smaller than Barclays Cycle Hire, which O’Brien estimates has 7,600 bikes in circulation.

This means Citi Bike is clocking about seven trips per bike per day. O’Brien speculates that London might once again pass New York during the winter, which tends to be milder in London — but we’ll let the numbers be the judge of that.

Bike-share ridership isn’t the only place where New York is ahead of London: After a number of cyclist deaths on its modest “cycle superhighway” routes, Mayor Boris Johnson has shifted gears and begun installing physically protected bikeways. He dedicated the first of London’s new protected bike lanes this week.

  • J

    London has actually had some protected bike lanes for a few years now:
    http://goo.gl/maps/ZzdLQ

  • Anonymous

    So will our system expand? Will de Blasio have the will to make it happen? Or is the jury still out?

  • Anonymous

    More bikes, more stations, more neighborhoods! Unfortunately, I don’t get the impression Citibike has their act together enough to expand anytime soon.

  • Larry Littlefield

    On the other hand, as Citibike expands to lower density areas (with more bikes) the rides per bike will go down.

  • Jonathan R

    NYC at this time of year has nearly an hour more daylight than London. If bike-share clients don’t like to ride home in the dark (London sunset yesterday was 4:22 pm), they can take the subway, bus, or taxi without having to schlep a bike with them.

  • Anonymous

    The original phase 2 (we haven’t even completed the original phase 1) was supposed to include the Upper East and West Sides (and only up around 79th St.) and I believe more of Queens (we currently have none of Queens). There’s still plenty of high density to expand into, and I’ll bet lots of demand once it does.

  • cmu

    London also has worse traffic, and it’s less respectful of both peds and cyclists. Engish drivers are wonderful at stopping at lights and ‘zebra crossings,’ but elsewhere peds have no right of way and cars barely slow at unmarked intersections (no stop signs, implied yield to traffic). They’re probably better drivers than us (could you drive those behomoth buses the way they do?) which accounts for fewer accidents. But not entirely pleasant

  • NYFM

    No, Citibike does not have their act together

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