Today’s Headlines

  • Siena Poll: 65% of Voters Think Cuomo’s Doing a Bad Job on Transit (News)
  • Heastie: Millionaires Tax Should Fund Healthcare and Education, Not Just Transit (News)
  • What Happened to Lhota’s MTA Overhaul Plan? Michael Gianaris Wants to Know (News)
  • De Blasio Supports Bill to More Evenly Distribute Garbage Truck Traffic (Politico)
  • Might Be Tough to Get a Grant for Woodhaven Blvd Select Bus Service From Trump’s DOT (QChron)
  • Melinda Katz Should Be Calling for Shorter Crossings on 111th Street, Not Traffic Signals (QChron)
  • Driver Strikes and Kills Cyclist Chaim Miller, 28, on Ocean Parkway (Yeshiva World)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Man on Hutchinson River Parkway (News)
  • Man Reverses Van Into Staten Island Laundromat at Speed, Injuring 5; NYPD: Accident! (NY1, Post)
  • The Summer Wasn’t Actually That Hellish for Penn Station Commuters (News, NYTNY1)
  • There’s a Net Outflow of Citi Bike Trips From the Upper West Side (Post)
  • People You Share the Road With (DNA)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Vooch

    Citibike is too successful on UWS


  • qrt145

    The fact that people tend to use it one-way more often than in other neighborhoods is a legitimate issue. I wonder why the UWS is special in this regard. In hilly cities, a common problem is that more people are willing to ride the bikes downhill than uphill, but I don’t think that’s the reason here.

    (There are certainly hills in NYC, but not so much in the current Citi Bike service area, as far as I know.)

  • Vooch

    good reBalancing will come with better data which only comes with some time.

    imagine being the guy who gets to calculate the rebalancing ? 20% demand growth rate, only a few months of data, and never enough bikes.

    that guy needs a big raise

  • William Lawson

    I don’t even know why they’re singling out the UWS in that article. The CitiBike imbalance problem happens all over the city across commuter routes. Any stations from which people cycle to work are devoid of bikes early in the morning until the evening, and any stations in commercial centers to which people bike to work are full very early and remain full until the evening.

    Citibike have had 3 or 4 years to address this problem and so far haven’t improved things in the slightest. Their “valet” services are few and far between, and too far from most of those affected by the imbalances to be of any use. The rebalancing is not happening, at least nowhere near the extent to which it needs to be happening.

    It’s tempting to think that the problem is just one of those “for the ages” mysteries which will still be baffling scientists and mathematicians in 100 years time, but from my various phone calls with CitiBike I do get the feeling that they’re kind of deluded about their own performance to the point where it’s possible they might not even be fully aware of how bad the problem is. For instance on two occasions now I’ve docked bikes and gotten the green light, only to have CitiBike tell me later that the bike was “missing” and I returned to find that the bike was not in fact docked correctly. Both times it was the same station. On the phone they told me “no way could this happen, our docks are failsafe.” Clearly they’re not. And then when I told them that sometimes I don’t get the confirmation emails until hours later, sometimes not at all, they told me “that’s not possible, we’ve improved our email system so that every email goes out immediately you dock the bike without fail.” I still don’t get the emails sometimes. Can’t wait for some competition to wake them up.

  • qrt145

    Interesting story from China about what can happen with unregulated dockless bikeshare:

  • William Lawson

    They’ve had years of data to address rebalancing in neighborhoods like the East Village, which has virtually no bikes whatsoever from 8am onwards. And yet they’ve done nothing to improve the situation. So it doesn’t look good for the UWS either.

  • qrt145

    There are two different issues here. What you complain about is the imbalance due to rush hours, which has an obvious cause: people tend to go from residential areas to commercial areas in the morning, and the other way in the the evening.

    What’s different and surprising about the UWS, according to the article, is the net outflow issue. People take bikes from the UWS to the CBD in the morning but do not take them back in the evening. As a result, there are relatively few bikes in the UWS at any time of day *or night* unless they are brought there as part of a rebalancing effort. This is in contrast with other residential areas where docks fill up “spontaneously” during the evening rush.

  • JarekFA

    This is in contrast with other residential areas where docks fill up “spontaneously” during the evening rush.

    This is interesting. I wonder if this is in part due to the fact that UWS isn’t really an evening destination area whereas the East Village is. Then again, this article doesn’t highlight the UES, which I would think has a similar usage profile as the UWS.

  • Vooch

    1) competition is a good thing

    2) I can imagine it’s rather chaotic over at Citibike. Imagine running a thin margin business, that is growing this fast

    add in seasonality, weather, weekends, commuters, tourists, NIMBYs, and special events – it’s got to be a planning exercise akin to D-Day every single day.

    The obvious solution is add 10,000 more bikes and 1,000 more stations in existing areas; but try getting that past Dorothy Rabintowitz & Woody Allen

    begrimed !!!

  • Vooch

    ask your CB for more citibike stations

    EV could use 10 more

  • William Lawson

    Maybe it’s because the UWS has a different demographic to, say, the East Village. If the UWS demographic is older, it could be that people are riding to work in the morning when they’re all rested and fresh, but after a hard day’s work they’re just too exhausted to cycle home and get on a train instead. A younger demographic like the East Village has more energy and is thus more likely to cycle both ways.

  • William Lawson

    I actually asked them a year ago. I sent them an email with various screenshots of the EV map during the daytime to illustrate the problem, and asked if they would consider either extending the existing stations or installing more of them. They replied saying they were “aware of the problem” and were hoping to improve things in the next month or so. Of course that never happened.

  • qrt145

    Could be. Another possibility is that people from the UWS tend to leave their workplace too late to find a bike to take back home.

  • Vooch

    show up
    with 100 people at 4 CB meetings in a row, you might get on the agenda in 6 months.

  • The Post can’t exploit its old Bikelash angles anymore. Nobody will use bike lanes and bike share? Wrong. People will die? Wrong. Businesses will all shut down? Wrong. So they have to turn to this kind of stuff to throw shade at biking and Citi Bike. Pick a neighborhood, find people complaining, and – boom – Bikelash 2.0.

  • HamTech87

    Weekends also have lots of empty docks on the UWS.

    I think Citibike needs much much larger rebalancing trailers, like the ones in Montreal. And maybe Citibike could muster a corps of retirees to rebalance, and buy them unlimited MetroCards to get to the full docks?

  • HamTech87

    Maybe because the restaurants on the UWS suck.

  • Maggie

    Oh hey now. Picking on UWS restaurants is a time-honored tradition, I know, but come on man, we’re right here. At a UWS restaurant even.

    It’s not a nightlife neighborhood, and it doesn’t have quick access to Queens or Brooklyn – that’s my guess why people don’t come here as a central location after work. North of 110th and Columbia doesn’t have citibike docks yet, which will get a lot of use, and some of the biggest cultural draws, like Lincoln Center or AMNH, have been hostile to indifferent to convenient docking stations.

  • Maggie

    One more thought: the easiest way to bike north to the UWS is via the Hudson River Greenway. The avenues are roaring deathtraps till you get to 8th Ave, which can feel like shooting yourself in the head with a left-hooking taxicab, an inconsiderate uber, and a pedestrian aimlessly wandering off the overcrowded sidewalk into the bike lane.

    If Citibike on principle doesn’t put stations in parks, that forces northbound evening Citibikers into a choice between avenues that feel deadly and the steep climb up to the UWS from the Hudson River Greenway. Not sure how much I believe this, but if you posit that uphills marginally deter cycling, there’s your uphill.

  • sbauman

    My habit is to verify any statistical data before accepting it. This is especially true for anything appearing in The Post.

    This is fairly easy to do because Citibike publishes data on every trip. It’s easy to download this data from a link on their website and import it into a database.

    I took the data for 10 July 2017 through 14 July 2017, inclusive. This is Monday to Friday data. Hopefully, there was nothing special about this week. What I did was match the Citibike station with the community board. I then counted the number of trips that started within each community board and the number that ended within each community board. If there were a systemic inflow or outflow of bikes, then the these two counts would differ significantly. I chose community boards because the UWS is Community Board 7. It extends from CPW to the Hudson River, from 60th St to 110th.

    Here are the results as csv text (convenient for cutting and pasting into a spreadsheet)

    If you have not guessed, Manhattan community boards start at 101, Brooklyn at 301 and Queens at 401. Also, community board 164 is Central Park and community board 355 is Prospect Park.

    As you can see overall, daily balancing between community boards is within a few percent. It should not be a systemic problem that requires massive night time readjustment. I have not examined hourly shifts or shifts broken down by particular Citibike stations. I’m sure the Citibike people are crunching those numbers.

    My initial reaction is this article is the Post doing its usual trash talk against bikes.

  • kevd

    morning rush hour on the subway is considerably worse than evening rush hour – probably because the am rush takes place over less time than the evening, therefore more people citibike in the am than in the evening.
    my theory…

  • kevd

    paris gives you 15 extra minutes if you dock at stations on hills (and there are considerable hills there) but it isn’t enough.
    Every hill you climb should give you an extra few hours on your membership, free. People riding up hills to get home could get a couple extra months on an annual membership, free.
    Okay, not sure how to apply that to NYC…

  • Vooch

    citibike needs more stations and more bikes

    try getting that past any CB

  • Vooch

    brilliant data !

  • Larry Littlefield

    NYC and state defunded transit in part to spend more than anyone else on health care and education. More for those who have more, leaving less for those who have less, over and over, bi-partisan, at every level of government, and in the private sector.

    Until collapse. They can’t help themselves. They have needs!

  • AnoNYC

    Does Intro. 495 require private trash hauling companies to bid for more geographically limited coverage areas or was that another bill? I know that the current system enables these companies to pick up trash in very dispersed sections of the city, keeping the trucks on the road for longer periods of time.

  • AMH

    I also had that question. This looks like something different, but I’m curious what effect it would have on the amount of time trucks spend on city streets.