Citi Bike Hits 7,500 Trips on Day Three

The bike-share station outside Port Authority at 41st Street and Eighth Avenue. Photo: Glenn McAnanama

Citi Bike has been compiling daily stats on usage and membership on its blog, and in the 24 hours between 5 p.m. Tuesday and 5 p.m. Wednesday, users logged 7,500 trips on the bike-share system. The number of annual members increased by nearly 2,000 over the same period, bringing the total to 21,300.

Joe Cutrufo at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign dug up some usage stats from the early days of bike-share in Boston and DC, and it looks like the number of trips per bike in NYC is slightly outpacing both of the other cities. In the first two full 24-hour periods that we have data for in NYC — from Monday at 5 p.m. to Wednesday at 5 p.m. — Citi Bike users made 14,930 trips, which works out to about 1.24 trips per bike per day. Meanwhile, Cutrufo reports that when DC’s Capital Bikeshare launched in 2010, users made about 1.05 trips per bike per day in its first 10 days.

CaBi launched later in the year than Citi Bike, and it didn’t have as much hype, but let’s extrapolate a bit anyway. This April, CaBi users made about 8,000 trips per day on a system with around 1,800 bikes, for about 4.4 trips per bike. If NYC maintains a slightly higher rate of trips per bike, a Citi Bike network with 10,000 bikes would see more than 50,000 trips per day during the peak biking months.

  • redbike

    Undocking / docking: I’d compare it to swiping a Metrocard. Yep, there is a learning curve, but it’s quick, not a biggie.

    The shifter rotation is the reverse of what I’m accustomed to. I’ll remain chronically confused about this, but it’s worth adding: for the Citibike trips I’ve made, I’ve found the shifting range to be just right. Low (if I remember to downshift in the right direction) offers a relaxed easy start, and for short distances, I can’t imagine wanting / needing anything higher than High.

    Comparing my bikes (yep, (s)) and Citibikes, the biggest adjustment / adaptation is handlebar width. Citibikes are like what I imagine wrangling a long-horned steer would be. If you’ve biked a few days (perhaps touring) with loaded front panniers and then removed ’em, the transition from Citibikes to narrower handlebars is that same squirrelly feel. Again, it’s a quick learning curve, but it’s real.

    I purposely took a few rides on Tuesday. Drizzled all day, remember? The fenders are great! Yep, if you bike in the rain, you’ll get wet, but on these bikes, no wetter than if you’d been walking without an umbrella. No yucky road spray. More about “without an umbrella”: consider the stately pace to which these bikes are constrained and the umbrella in the Citi logo. Anyone tried that yet?

    My largest and only real peeve remains: the cramped baggage rack. It’s good for a demure shoulder bag, but not much more. Considering handlebar width, I feel like I’m pedaling a wheelbarrow, and that’s fine for short trips, but it sure doesn’t have that capacity. For utility (e.g., shopping), this is going to be a limiting factor.

  • Daphna

    It is not possible to give pedestrians a wide berth in the curbside parking protected lanes in Manhattan. Sometimes there are pedestrians everywhere and there is no way to get through. Calling out or ringing a bell is necessary to make the pedestrians realize they are in a bike lane not a sidewalk extension, and to get them to at least move a little to the side and allow a bike to pass through.

  • Joe R.

    Honestly, during the times of day when the lanes are crowded like that, I would just be riding in the street. I have patience for an occasional obstruction, but the situation you describe would have me going nuts after a few blocks. I hope with bicycle traffic increasing, eventually people will realize these bike lanes aren’t sidewalk extensions. Same thing with the vendors who park food carts in them.

  • Anonymous

    That’s my hope too. In the days after Sandy, there were many more bikes on the protected lanes than usual, and very few pedestrians.

    I want to think that what happened was that we reached the “critical density” of cyclists necessary to make it obvious that, yes, this is an active bike lane and not a sidewalk extension where cyclists just happen to ride from time to time.

    An alternate, pessimistic theory is that there were fewer pedestrians altogether because many people were stuck on the other side of the river, thus reducing the sidewalk overcrowding that tempts people into walking on the bike lane.

  • Yes–“unintentional ambassadorship.” It’s fun, and it won’t last. Enjoy it now!

  • On my inaugural ride on Monday, I had three cabbies engage me in friendly conversation about the bike, and another pointedly tailgate and honk at me to get out of his way (under circumstances where I had a perfect right to the lane).

  • els

    It was me, don’t blame soexcited! And I exaggerate a bit–but whereas I would probably make the extra effort to catch the end of a yellow on a bike that is more nimble and responsive, I’m not going to expend a lot of extra energy to try and get the citibike to perform like that. My citibike riding feels more like a walk on a bike rather than a “real” ride.

  • The competing company, B-cycle, gives their users actual miles, speed and calories on an online dashboard.

  • Mike

    Why is this station taking away pedestrian space, in such a congested area? It should be in the parking lane.

  • Albert

    You said it!

  • Bronxite

    I have a feeling over time that a lot more stations will be moved to the street.

  • Anonymous

    That’s offensive they’d remove it in Sutton Place. It’s isolated with little car traffic and is very far from the nearest train. Thanks NIMBY’s.

  • carfreenation

    What’s interesting to me is that despite all the bikeshare usage, the vast majority of cyclists on my route are still using their own bikes. Citibike is maybe 1/20 of the cyclists. Maybe it’s because I’m mostly going over the bridge, but I do come from a neighborhood with citibike to a neighborhood with citibike.

  • Ben Kintisch

    Isn’t it funny how personal bikes are perceived as “others” “fringe” etc. but shared bikes are something everyone can cheer for?

  • Ben Kintisch

    Wow. Not too many bikes left. Imagine when it catches on!

  • Daphna

    It is crazy on 41st Street at 8th Avenue to have the docking station on the sidewalk. That is such a high volume pedestrian area at rush hours. Pedestrians already overflow off the sidewalk without their space being re-purposed. Those docks should at least be angled to take up less space. But the whole docking station should be moved tot he parking lane. I am so surprised it is on the sidewalk at that location!

  • Anonymous

    There’s a parking lane at 41st and 8th? Isn’t that right outside Port Authority? I don’t think they have parking there? They have the two lanes of cab stands on the west side. And I think only 2 or 3 moving lanes there.

  • Anonymous

    bells aren’t as good ambassadors for cycling as human interaction.

    Personally, I find people yelling at me (and people on bikes in this noisy city almost inevitably have to raise their voices to be heard by pedestrians) much more obnoxious than a little bell going ding, ding, ding.

    And that little bell going ding, ding, ding–it’s still rung by one human for another. So it’s still a human interaction. It’s just not one that’s pretending to be two way–like a conversation–the way using words would be.

  • carma

    Daphna, im not sure if you actually have been there in person, but ill comment on the situation here since i use this station every day now, plus i commuted to the PA for years.

    before the docking station, there is a newsstand that actually is in line with the docking station so for the stations to be on the sidewalk, it is actually not impeding ped flow since the newsstand would have done that anyways.

    it would be nice to have this station split into two. currently there are 59 docks here. what i mean is to have half of these docks moved south 1 block to 40th and 8th. why, b/c 41st ends at 8th ave where you are pretty much forced to go north towads 42nd street for eastward traffic. now, if you started your destination at 40th which is eastbound, you wouldnt need to go north to go east.

    as to the parking lane, well its a no standing except commercial vehicle zone. i dont know if the nytimes had any input in preventing the station to be on the street, but……

  • carma

    its 2 lanes for taxis and left turns.

    theres 4 moving lanes on 8th between 41st and 42nd. there is no bike lane between 41st and 42nd because of the taxi zone.
    its also a traffic nightmare as it is a high pedestrian area with high vehicular traffic, plus a huge increase in bicycles now too along with all the extra buses from over stuffed port authority which sometimes flows out on 8th right after a left from the tunnel exit.

  • Eric Britton

    Good start. Our studies show that the “sweet spot” for a well working system, is in the area of ca. 3 – 7 trips per bike per day. Of course it takes a bit of time to get there.

    BTW, if things stagnate at less than two, it’s time to fire the manager and get a new team. More than 8, you need more bikes.

  • guest

    So true, Albert! One of the very rare bicyclists who understands pedestrian concerns!!

    Wish there were more of you!!


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