Citi Bike Cracked Seven Trips Per Bike Yesterday (That’s a Lot)

Citi Bike reached a milestone Tuesday. For the first time, NYC bike-share riders took over 42,000 trips, for an average of seven trips per bike. The last record-breaking day was July 31, which saw 41,895 trips.

For comparison’s sake, London has never cracked six trips per bike per day, and Velib averages about five trips per bike, which Citi Bike has been exceeding almost every day since late June, when the program was less than a month old.

  • Bronxite

    Citi Bike has proven extremely popular… “How ’bout those expansions!?”

  • Anonymous

    Yes, expansion to queens, northern Manhattan, south Bronx and deeper into Brooklyn has to be a priority of Citibike or there will have to be some kind of public funding to make it happen.

  • Larry Littlefield

    I’d say Citibike has doubled the number of bicycles I see on the streets of Manhattan. And I see quite a few of them on the Manhattan Bridge too.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but full stations (aka dockblocking) in midtown seem to be less of a problem lately (empty stations are another story). I don’t know if it’s due to increased rebalancing efforts, or just that so many people are using the bikes that stations don’t remain full for long.

  • Anonymous

    The thing is, by solving one problem, they’ve exacerbated another. It looks like they’re pretty aggressive at removing bikes after the morning rush in Midtown – but they never return anywhere close to the same number of bikes to those stations before afternoon rush. It makes no sense at all. Logic dictates that if demand peaks between 8:30 and 9am, it’s going to peak again between 5 and 5:30pm. It does – and by 5:10, practically every bike left in Midtown is gone.

    At 5pm, every station on Broadway in the 50s is half-empty, as it has been all day long. I can’t understand why they haven’t figured this out yet. My patience is wearing thin.

  • Just Wondering

    Why is it a problem if a station is half empty? Doesn’t that mean bikes are available for those who need them and dock space is available for those who need to return them?

  • Anonymous

    Wait, why do they remove bikes after the morning rush? Won’t everyone need those very bikes to get home in the evening?

  • Anonymous

    It’s a problem because it’s not matching the demand pattern of those stations. If between 4pm and 6pm, there are 10 bikes removed for every one bike returned, there’s no reason to leave a station half-empty.

    Worse still, there are several stations in Midtown near the most problematic stations that remain empty or nearly empty all day. Bikes could easily be reshuffled into these stations to help meet PM rush demand and still leave docks open for returning.

  • Anonymous

    Well, in their defense, it makes sense – if throngs of members are riding bikes from the East Village to Midtown in the morning, the bikes to restock the East Village stations have to come from *somewhere*. The problem is, they’re not making the reverse move before the evening commute.

    To see this in action, check out this map and click on the 53rd & Madison station. The station filled up during AM rush, and they just pulled out a bunch of bikes there around 11am. From watching this for weeks now, I can tell you with certainty that the station will flatline all day long and drop like a rock as soon as 5pm rolls around.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve pretty much given up on using it most of the time on weekdays in the East Village and Lower East Side. During the day bikes are all but gone, and in the evenings docks are almost completely full through most of the neighborhood. The system is still useful on weekends when bike distribution is more even. Huge usage numbers look nice in a report, but not altogether a good thing.

    BTW, I haven’t been able to see my trip log since early June, and promised fix is still not forthcoming.

  • Eddie

    I thought there were only 4,000 bikes actually in the system, not 6,000. That would make over 10 trips per bike.

  • Greg

    It’s opaque. The data feed says < 4,000, but we believe the data feed to be wrong. There's basically no way to know.

  • J

    You’re absolutely right–most systems report the number of trips per the total number of bikes that they own, not the number of bikes in service, which tends to fluctuate a bit. This is pretty misleading.

    NY has around 4,300 bike in service, as evidenced by the number of bikes in docks at 3am, making the rate around over 10 trips per bike. That’s a ton of use. At 15 minutes per ride, each bike is in use for a solid 2.5 hours each day. Not too shabby.

  • Anonymous

    So you’re saying 40 people ride to a mid-town station in the morning, but 40 people won’t ride home? I’m confused.

    I’d figure the really busy commuter destinations would be self- populating.

    round-trip commuting, as it were.

  • Anonymous

    Does the number of bikes in docks include those that are disabled? I saw a few bikes at Tribeca and SOHO stations with flat tires.

    When I reached SOHO (Spring St. nr. Chelsea VocTech) at about 6:30pm last night, there were two people standing around waiting for a working bike to arrive. The other 5 bikes at the station were disabled.

    Suggestion: I’ve read that people are randomly hitting the repair button on the dock for bikes that are not broken, thus increasing unneeded repair trips. Why not make a prerequisite of pushing the repair button sticking your membership key in?

  • Anonymous

    I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that’s exactly the pattern, but Alta seems to play dumb. That leaves 20 of those 40 people without a bike in the evening, because they moved 20 of those 40 bikes somewhere else.

    But if you don’t move 20 of those 40 bikes after the morning rush, that’s 20 (or more) fewer people who won’t be able to find a bike in the East Village during the day. The point is, the bikes from Midtown are needed elsewhere between 9 and 5, but Alta is flat-out ignoring that they need to be *back* in Midtown at 5.

  • Jay

    They still haven’t fixed their app which is now totally useless and I agree that the redistribution for the afternoon, evening in Midtown is atrocious. Coupled with the fact that there has been a bike stuck in a dock for the past month and no-one has come to fix it after multiple reports and that I have seen red light bikes in the same dock for over a week it seems like they need to fix their customer service priorities. Maybe their twitter person could dedicate some time to other issues

  • Clarke

    It should know who is pushing the repair button anyway, as it’s the last person who checked out that bike.

  • Clarke

    It should know who is pushing the repair button anyway, as it’s the last person who checked out that bike.

  • Anonymous

    I think the point is that some people might be pushing the button for a bike that they didn’t check out.

    I tried pushing the button right after checking in a bike, and didn’t see any effect. Is the red light or something else supposed to turn on when you push it?

  • Andrew

    Because some people have places to go while you’re at work. The point of bike share is that somebody else uses the same bike you did after you’re finished with it. Any bike that sits around for eight hours isn’t being productive.

  • PB

    I wonder if we can answer this once and for all. Could we get ~330 volunteers at 4 in the morning? One at each station? They each count the bikes and we add it all up. I’m in, who else?

  • Anonymous

    Good point. Not sure what the answer is. I hope there’s a way to provide more evening rush hour bikes to midtown. Maybe the answer is just more stations. But It’s basically impossible to get a bike after 5pm unless you walk to Port Authority.

  • Stephen

    I love the bike program, but the software and web glitches are a nightmare, and they are compounded by the fact that citibike will not even discuss them publicly or give any progress report on fixes. To name but two of the worst problems right now:

    1. The app is completely inaccurate. How is one supposed to find a bike or a dock if the app can’t be even CLOSE to accurate? I called customer service and was told that the dock info is not updated in real time. Are you kidding? That would make it worthless.

    2. Trip data has been unavailable for weeks on their website, and they refuse to give an ETA about a fix or even publicly acknowledge the problem.

    All in all, shitty customer service for paying members and the public. Try communicating more and being transparent and proactive.


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