Today’s Headlines

  • Van Driver Reversed Into Man Crossing 120th Street in Kew Gardens, Killing Him (DNA)
  • TransAlt Calls for Protected Bike Lane on Crescent Street in Astoria (DNA)
  • After 10 Years of Summer Streets, It’s Time to Think Bigger (AMNY)
  • The MTA Was Having Trouble Filling Maintenance Jobs Even Before Deciding to Staff Up (WSJ)
  • Jay Walder: Citi Bike Can’t Replace the Subway, But It Can Relieve Pressure on the System (News)
  • Citi Bike’s Going on Tour in the Bronx and Staten Island (AMNYNews)
  • Douglaston Civic Association vs. Safe Douglaston Streets (TL)
  • PATH Train Carrying 22,000 Additional Riders Per Day This Summer (NYT)
  • Leftover MetroCard Balances Added Up to $80 Million in Unused Fares Last Year (News)
  • How to Make the Subways More Bearable for Your Fellow Straphangers (Gothamist, WNYC)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • J

    While I strongly support Citibike, 70,000 bikeshare trips is a rounding error on a subway system that generates 5.6 million trips per day. Let’s make Citibike & cycling in general better, but we also need to fix the subway itself.

  • Who said anything about not fixing the subway?

  • Vooch

    PBLs are the least costly solution to providing mobility options for all NYs.

    For $100 million one could create 200 miles of PBLs. This would triple the effective commuting network.

    $100 million is the cost of consultant studies to fix the subways.

    City should plow ahead with adding 200 miles of PBLs in 4 years. This would allievate subway overcrowding, provide alternatives to paying $2.75 fares, and help millions of NYs.

  • Larry Littlefield

    There is a labor shortage nationwide as the Baby Boomers retire, and yet wages are stagnant because businesses can’t raise prices because their customers — the wage earners – are broke.
    But if the MTA can’t hire, blame the unions and politicians that created the structure of compensation. Total compensation is much higher than the for comparable jobs, but most of it is in a pot of gold you get for decades after you STOP working. Meanwhile, starting pay for those actually working is kept as low as possible.

    The MTA has to start thinking like today’s baseball GMs. If free agents are overpriced, you need to develop your own talent from the ground up. Or wait to accelerate maintenance until the next construction bust, and/or when Verizon finishes the Fios buildout.

  • William Lawson

    What CitiBike needs most of all is competition. They are performing as badly as any other institution with nobody else to worry about. Despite having a few years to fix the problem of bike station imbalance, for example, they’ve done nothing to improve things. The entire East Village is completely bike free after about 8:30am, and after 7pm it’s often impossible to find a place to park. This is a symptom of demand outstripping supply. For all people speculate about ingenious “rebalancing” strategies, the solution is clearly more bikes and more (or larger) stations. They are quite happily taking people’s money but don’t seem interested in giving their customers what they paid for.

    I spoke to a guy at a station yesterday who told me that his son had spent a few months working at CitiBike and that the whole operation was a complete and utter clusterf*ck with a dysfunctional management. Sounds a lot like the MTA to be honest. Or any other institution that doesn’t have to worry about competition.

    I’d love to see the way clear for additional bike sharing schemes to compete directly alongside Citibike. I’d also like to see bike sharing grow to the point where it’s a direct threat to the revenue of the MTA. I think people are becoming intensely pissed off with public transport in this city to the point where they’re more open to alternative ways of getting around. But I wonder how many people have toyed with the idea of buying a CitiBike key, observed nothing but empty stations on their way to work in the morning, and dismissed the idea. I also think CitiBike should blitz the subway with advertisements. Get people at the peak of their MTA hatred.

  • guest

    East Village has 2 valet stations in the evening. While perhaps not the most convenient depending on your location, they do try to address the evening situation in the EV. In the mornings, they refill stations but I agree it’s often hard to find a bike after the time your specify; they clearly can’t keep up with morning demand.

  • JarekFA

    Sounds like it’s a victim of its own success.

  • Have you considered buying your own bike, which you can then use at your convenience, without the hassle of undocking and redocking? Of course, you wouldn’t be able to have the bike share mechanics fix it for you, and you would have to come up with your own storage solution, but on the whole that seems more realistic than demanding that a bike share operator support your transportation needs beyond what they can sensibly offer.

  • sbauman

    While Citibike alone might not be able to replace the subway system, bicycles can. This was demonstrated during the first two weeks of April 1980. There was a total bus and subway strike, except for the Green Bus Lines in Queens. There was also a LIRR strike for the first two days. The public answered Mayor Koch’s call to make New York look like Beijing. Alas, Beijing now looks like New York.

    There is an market that Mr. Walder is ignoring. Citibike could go a long way to eliminating the bus problem. The average NYC bus trip is 2.25 miles. That’s within bike share’s sweet spot – faster than walking and waiting for a crowded bus to come. Unfortunately, this market beyond Citibike’s expansion plans. The market is in the wasteland beyond the subway lines that never expanded to the city line.

  • AMH

    I couldn’t leave a comment on Mr Walder’s article, but I heartily agree. Now Jay, when is this summer’s expansion to 130 St going to happen, and why does your website still have last year’s expansion plans instead of the current ones?

  • Vooch

    A sign that latent demand for cycling is gi-normous. NYers want to get around cycling.

    If the DOT can up its PBL goal from 10 miles per year to 50; NYC would be quieter, healthier, and more mobile.

  • William Lawson

    “you wouldn’t be able to have the bike share mechanics fix it for you, and you would have to come up with your own storage solution”

    Well there you have it right there. I don’t have the storage for a bike, and I don’t have the time or place to maintain a bicycle.

    “that seems more realistic than demanding,,,”

    Who’s “demanding”? And where do you get the idea that CitiBike couldn’t possibly do any better? People are strange……

  • William Lawson

    The East Village valet stations are both on Avenue A, and aren’t really that far from the subway or uptown buses. The real problem with bikes in the East Village and Lower East side are in the locations which are a real hike from the subway – like Avenue C and D. Take the station at Avenue C. It could be extended a great deal, as could the ones on Avenue D. They are empty from about 8:30 and all through the afternoon. And then full after about 7pm.

  • William Lawson

    Not so much of its own success, but more of the fact that a demand for bike share exists.

  • bolwerk

    Bikes and bike share are never going to “threaten” public transportation. Expanding cycling will only increase demand on public transportation. There will be less room for cars on streets (good), so people who forego cars to cycle will also have to rely on transit more often (also good).

    And claiming lack of competition is the problem is a cop-out. There are many efficient transit agencies that don’t have competition. One only needs to look at how shitty mismanaged American broadband is to see why competition doesn’t solve everything.

  • bolwerk

    If only there were somebody with the means to print unlimited sums of money and see to it that it gets in the hands of people who might spend it. ?

  • AMH

    It’s also worth mentioning that a personal bike is not a substitute for bikeshare. I’ve had a bike all my life, but there are countless times when I don’t have it with me and wish I could just grab a CitiBike. We’re still years from that being reality in much of the city, so I’m just not making certain trips as much as I’d like to.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Probably having the same labor projects as anyone else. How many competent bike mechanics have the city schools turned out over the years?

  • bolwerk

    Most people in power who complain about idlers who don’t know how to do anything are the kinds of people who come up with scams like charter schools and private prisons.

  • bolwerk

    It all looks so frivolous to me. But clearly the people who’ve been pointing out we need to aggressively expand the reach of the subways have been wrong all along. We just needed to wait for a crisis and then implement bikeshare. If that doesn’t work, some consultant can sell us a bus service that might tangentially go in the direction we need to go.