Today’s Headlines

  • Update: Through July, Almost All Precincts Have Stepped Up Dangerous Driving Tickets (WNYC)
  • Thruway’s Madison: Without TZB Loan, Clean Water Funds Would’ve Gone Unused (LoHud)
  • Meanwhile, There’s a Tappan Zee-Sized Hole in the State’s Funding for Clean Water Projects (MTR)
  • SI Hit-and-Run Driver Sentenced to 4 to 14 Years for Killing Another Motorist (Advance)
  • SI Driver Sentenced to 4 to 15 Years for DWI Crash That Killed Vehicle Passenger (Advance)
  • Maybe It’s Time to Treat Citi Bike Like the Transit System It Really Is (Observer)
  • Garodnick the Only Vote Against Unorthodox School Bus Driver Raises (WNYC, News, NY1, Crain’s)
  • De Blasio Appoints Administration’s Finance Commissioner to TLC Board (CapNY)
  • Rockaway Residents Continue to Rally for Restoration of Ferry Service Past October (WCBS)
  • Even NYPD Officers Have a Tough Time Getting a Citi Bike to Stay in Its Dock (Gothamist)
  • Damn Bike Lanes in St. George (Advance), on Amsterdam Avenue (DNA), and the QBB (News, DNA)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Komanoff

    Re Observer post on Citi Bike: the writer referenced an earlier Cap NY report that Hurricane Sandy cost Citi Bike $6.4M. Does anyone know if Citi Bike has applied for cost recovery as part of the $30B (?) NY city and state were to receive — a good chunk of which is going to subway repair and fortification?

  • J_12

    Bike share is part of the transportation network, but not part of public transit, and nor should it be.
    Why subsidize citibike? It’s a private transportation option just like zipcar, or taxis.
    I think the pricing is wrong – annual memberships should cost more – and the logistics need to be improved. The fact that a private investor has stepped in to provide capital means that the government doesn’t need to get involved (other than in allocating public space to use for dock stations.)

  • Bolwerk

    I agree it’s not transit, but who cares if it’s subsidized? It has been successful from the standpoint of attracting users and it probably has most of the benefits of subsidizing transit. Maybe it takes even a little pressure of at least the bus network.

  • J_12

    I think who cares are the people who pay for the subsidy (i.e. taxpayers.)
    Granted it’s a small cost in the grand scheme, but the precedent of subsidizing private transportation options like this is a bad one, in my opinion.

  • Re sinkhole on Amsterdam Ave: Let’s see if the city can manage to get this fixed faster than the greenway sinkhole. That ought to make it clear what the city’s true priorities are.

  • HamTech87

    What’s the distinction between a public vs. private transportation option?

  • dporpentine

    That’s why the city should own it.
    Private enterprise is worthless for anything that’s an actual public good.

  • Bolwerk

    I am one of those people and I don’t much care. Cars set that precedent a century ago anyway.

  • Leo

    Lot’s of people bike on Amsterdam, we’d like to see it crater free.

  • vnm

    Good question. I have always considered a car you own and use exclusively to be a private transportation option. Yet a car you pay for a short ride in while someone else drives (taxi) is very much like public transportation. This is like citibike. Therefore I think of it as a form of public transportation since many people can use it. I think that any transportation system should be self-funded if possible, i.e., if people are willing to pay the full costs and then some, like taxis. But a transportation system that has general public benefits, like congestion mitigation, should be subsidized if people are unwilling to pay the full costs, like subways, buses, and probably citibike.

  • lop

    Since taxis are public transit should they be subsidized for people in Eastern Queens or Staten Island who normally have poor taxi service? Have the city pay half the fare and you’d have more taxis out there. Or what about people who can’t afford a taxi trip so they take a subway or bus ride instead? They aren’t willing to pay the full cost.

    Who says people aren’t willing to pay $200 for an annual citibike membership? Some are, just like some are willing to pay for taxis.

  • vnm

    You get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax, and it all comes down to priorities. I, for one, would prefer a larger, better bike share system that did a better job attracting more riders by being less costly to use. Subsidizing taxis would have its champions, but it wouldn’t reduce congestion, pollution and oil dependence.

  • Andres Dee

    I’m seeing signs of CitiBike’s deteriorating infrastructure every time I go out; non-working docks, flats, cracked saddles, chains rusting on the pavement, noisy gears. Bikes are at risk of disappearing and so are customers. The people who run this had better reverse this decline before they reach a “tipping point”.

  • Bolwerk

    The only excusable reason I can come up with to subsidize taxis would be for the disabled in lieu of expensive ADA improvements. Ironically, that’s almost the opposite of current policy: cars for everyone, buses for the disabled.

  • lop

    it wouldn’t reduce congestion, pollution and oil dependence.

    Why not? If it’s cheaper and more convenient to use a for hire car then it isn’t as important to own a car. Once you own a car then you use it a lot, even for trips where other modes are viable, increasing congestion, pollution, and oil dependence. If you only pay for a car when you need it then trips where it’s less important you can walk, bike, or take transit. Taxi fleets are a better target for electrification than typical individually owned cars, which would reduce local pollution and oil dependence.

  • J_12

    Taxis are not public transit. They are not paid for and maintained by the government or a governmental agency. They are “public” in the sense that they are shared by lots of people, and for that reason they are more heavily regulated than individually owned and operated private cars.

    Citibike is probably most similar to zipcar – people pay a private company to use a shared car on a per-trip basis. The main difference is that zipcar does not use public space to store its vehicles.

    I think bikeshare is a wonderful idea, and hopefully will become an important part of the transportation network in the city, but it’s definitely not public transit.

  • J_12

    Everyone wants more for less, but the more relevant question is whether you would pay more for a larger, better bikeshare system. Citibike can’t meet demand, and also isn’t making enough revenue to cover expenses. This is a pretty clear indication that it is priced too low.

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