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Bike Sharing

Citi Bike Membership Surges Past 20,000 — Smell the Desperation at the Post

1:16 PM EDT on May 29, 2013

That acrid scent wafting from the News Corp. Building is flop sweat pouring off Col Allan and the New York Post editors as they watch tens of thousands of New Yorkers start using the city's new bike-share system.

As of this morning, 20,000 people had purchased annual Citi Bike memberships, an increase of more than 4,000 since the system launched Monday morning. Membership is on pace to eclipse Washington DC's Capital Bikeshare (about 34,000 annual subscribers, currently the most of any American bike-share system) in a matter of days.

The membership and ridership numbers coming out of the Citi Bike system are going to make it harder for the tabloids to keep on running stories that frame cycling as niche transportation that "real New Yorkers" don't use. Not that the Post will stop trying.

Their interim strategy seems to be convincing readers that bike-share isn't worth signing up for. But even today's feature on opening week glitches has a whiff of desperation to it. One of the inconvenienced bike-share users who made the Post's final cut had to walk all of two blocks before finding an operable station:

Another rider said that the docking station near his Brooklyn Heights subway wasn’t operable — and there was no sign indicating as much.

So he schlepped himself two blocks to another station.

That's the great thing about having a dense network of bike-share stations. If you're foiled at one, there's probably another one two blocks away. What a schlep!

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