City Council Members Joining Citi Bike: The Tally Grows

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer is no stranger to bicycling. Now he's joined Citi Bike. Will his colleagues join him? Photo: Transportation Alternatives

DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced bike-share’s Memorial Day launch date at last week’s budget hearing, but Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer had some news of his own: He had joined thousands of New Yorkers in becoming a Citi Bike member.

“I want to say proudly I am one of the 8,000 people who have signed up for bike-share,” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said, joining Brooklyn Council Members Steve Levin and Brad Lander in becoming a bike-share member. Like Lander, Van Bramer’s district isn’t even located in Citi Bike’s initial service area. “We really want bike-share in western Queens,” Van Bramer said.

In the week since Van Bramer’s announcement, the program’s membership rolls have grown from 8,000 to more than 10,000. Are any other council members awaiting key fobs in the mail?

Streetsblog has inquired with other council members in the service area to see if they are Citi Bike members or plan to join. Letitia James told Streetsblog via e-mail that she plans on becoming a member.

We’re waiting on word from Gale Brewer, Margaret Chin, Dan Garodnick, Jessica Lappin, Rosie Mendez, Christine Quinn, and Albert Vann. We’ll let you know if we hear any updates.

Update: Council Member Chin’s office said that while she is “very supportive of bike-share,” she will not be joining because does not know how to ride a bike, although she plans to learn how to ride in the future.

Update 2: Council Member Garodnick is not a Citi Bike member and does not know if he will join in the future, according to a spokesperson.

Update 3: A spokesperson for Council Member Lappin said that she plans on joining bike-share.

  • Anonymous

    If Citibike’s rolls have grown to 10000 already, isnt it a little worrying. I feel like that may be a few too many people for the existing size of the installation. Am I right to be concerned about the existing size?

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a City Council member, but I was listening to Q104.3 this morning (yes, sometimes people still listen to the radio) and in a news report about the launch date, Shelli Sonstein mentioned both she and host Jim Kerr had already signed up, too.

  • Betting Person

    10,000 have already joined bike share ahead of the May 27th preview week and ahead of the June 2nd launch. I bet another 200,000 will join in June once it is up and running. I hope it will grow exponentially from there.

    Some bike share programs average 2-3 rides per bike per day, others average 6-7 rides per bike per day, and others fall in the middle. I hope NYC blows even the high average away. I hope NYC averages 10 rides per day per bike!

    I hope Alta and Citibank and NYCDOT will quickly get the rest of the 480 stations installed after this launch with 330. Then I hope they will quickly get the rest of the 600 stations installed that were all supposed to have been in phase I. Phase I has now been in a sense divided into parts a, b, and c. Phase 2 was tentative but was supposed to be the rollout to 30,000 bikes with triple the geographic area covered as phase I.

  • Voter

    Many City Council members may never join Citi Bike, but most of their staffers will.

  • Anonymous

    I hope there will be enough bikes!

  • Anonymous

    Not all 10,000 members will want to use the bikes at the same time. Most will be casual users.

    I’m sure the people running the bikeshare system have plenty of utilization data from other cities to provide some clue as to what ratio of bikes to members works best.

  • wilfried84

    I wonder what the sweet spot is for the ratio of subscribers to bikes? 10,000 seems quite low for 6000 bikes, but of course that’s just the beginning. Explosive growth will mean that empty docks and dockblocking will become endemic (I’ve read hints of that in DC). For purely selfish reasons, I’m hoping for moderate growth.

  • Betting Person

    There needs to be enough of everything. Need:

    1) enough bikes
    2) enough empty and full docks at each station
    3) enough stations (I wish there was a station every 3-4 blocks instead of every 5-6 blocks)

    I think it will be popular and grow fast. I hope Alta, Citibank and NYCDOT are already planning ahead for rapid expansion.

  • Daphna

    10,000 have already joined. I wish there was a counter showing a tally instead of having to wait for news stories that report on it. This Friday, May 17th is the deadline to join in order to use bike-share during the May 27th preview week. I wonder how many people will be signing up between now and Friday?!? I wonder if there will be another rush to join on Friday as there was during the first 36 hours when the system opened. But maybe it is not well publicized that one must join by May 17th in order to ride starting May 27th? Members joining later must wait until June 2nd to ride bike-share.

  • Jared R

    @88b32fb69e499718d95067da9d3d7b03:disqus I NEED this counter you speak of! I wish there was one too. I’m obsessive.

  • Jared R

    I’m hoping it does turn out to operate with a profit. The more incentive to expand the better.

  • Anonymous

    Why didn’t you ask Vacca?

  • guestnyc

    I have a feeling this may prove too popular. Biking is such an efficient way to get around NYC and New Yorkers know it. Hopefully as demand increases so will the teams that rotate the bikes.

    Also, hopefully future phases are rolled out in a timely manner.

  • Albert

    “OMG, will there be enough bikes!?”
    “OMG, will there be enough stations!?”
    “OMG, will explosive growth be too much for the system!?”

    We should *have* such troubles!

  • Way to go Councilmember Van Bramer! I’m from Jackson Heights, which won’t see Bikeshare for quite a while, but it will still be well worth it for all those Manhattan trips.

  • Hilda

    I think Streetsblog should create a pool to see how many annual bike share members there will be in a year. We can each pledge to donate a dollar for each time we put a number in the pot. And you have to put the number in by June 1st!

  • On the waterfront

    I have seen Rosie drive to work from her 14th Street office to City Hall. Get her on a bike.

  • Anonymous

    I worry about this as well. The density of stations is not as high as Montreal, so if a station is empty or full, you can always find another one close to your destination. Not sure that is true in NYC.

  • Purple Haze

    No way Rosie Mendez’ll join! She supported Citi Bike in the beginning, sponsoring the Bike- Share Presentation and whatnot, but now she’s pumping the breaks on her support, not joining, and encouraging people to voice their complaints to her office now. This is the same Councilwoman who signed a letter that stated countless surveys and experiments had been done so that people wouldn’t complain about these bikes.
    But that’s Councilwoman Rosie Mendez for you, flip-flopping her opinion, jsut tryna stay popular.


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