Citi Bike Hits New Record With More Than 90,000 Rides in a Single Day 

New Yorkers are gleefully pushing the pedals of the blue bikes, leaving the mayor in the dust as he undermines city cycling.

Mayor de Blasio (center with Borough President Eric Adams and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg) rode a Citi Bike sans helmet in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Photo: Natalie Grybauskas
Mayor de Blasio (center with Borough President Eric Adams and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg) rode a Citi Bike sans helmet in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Photo: Natalie Grybauskas

Citi Bike smashed its own ridership record on Thursday, when New Yorkers completed more than 90,000 rides in a day — gleefully pushing the pedals in spite of discouraging talk by Mayor de Blasio that he is mulling helmet requirements for users.

The bike rides have surged as New Yorkers have discovered that the bikes are one of the fastest ways to get around the city — even faster than taxis or the subway, said Caroline Samponaro, spokesperson for Lyft, Citi Bike’s operator.

“This has been a summer for the record books, and we’re so excited that Citi Bike riders have achieved yet another massive milestone,” said Samponaro, who added that milestone represented the highest daily total for any American bike-share network. “We look forward to providing even more New Yorkers with convenient access to one of the most fun, healthy, and environmentally-friendly mobility options there is — Citi Bike,” she said.

Citi Bike previously hit a record of 89,466 rides on Aug. 1, for a total of more than 2.3 million trips that month. Riders made 91,529 trips on Thursday; now, they’re poised to top 100,000 rides, said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. 

“I congratulate everyone at Lyft for this milestone – on to 100,000!,” she said in a statement. 

But if the mayor wants to create another obstacle to cycling by requiring riders to wear a helmet, Citi Bike’s record number may shoot back down.

“Citi Bike continues to be one of New York City’s most useful and reliable modes of transportation, thanks in no small part to the fact that there are so few barriers to getting on a Citi Bike,” said Transportation Alternatives spokesperson Joe Cutrufo. “If Mayor de Blasio were to force users to wear helmets, we’d be looking at much different ridership numbers, and probably the eventual demise of the system.”

Hizzoner also said that his administration may require cyclists to become licensed and get insurance. 

  • Hilda

    Are the pedal assist bikes coming back after Sept. 21?

  • JK

    Fantastic. Tremendous and heartening! Well done Citibike and all your riders. And guess what — the new record achieved with no E-Citibikes and ridership exceeded periods when Ebikes deployed. Maybe humans can still move under their own power.

  • Reader

    Would be great if the lesson learned from this continued growth is that the whiners, complainers, skeptics and Marcia Kramers are always wrong about things related to cycling and safe streets and shouldn’t be listened to anymore. Something for the next mayor to consider when consulting with “the community.”

  • Just imagine how big this number could be if we had really good cycling infrastructure and some public subsidy to have a bigger and more affordable system. No reason the system couldn’t be doing 200k a day.

  • worthmorethanasummons

    Mr. Mayor, GO BACK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL! YOU CAN STILL WIN. The country needs you! Just let Corey Johnson run NYC in your absence!

  • I’m 8,000+ miles and counting on my Citibike app. In almost every from-to scenario, my experience is that biking is almost always as fast or faster than the subway. Certainly it always, by a lot, beats car/cab. Also – de Blasio is brilliantly consistent in his weird knack for almost always landing on the wrong side of every issue that matters to us New Yorkers e.g. development, homelessness, education, inequality, transportation. Fact is you’re dumb not to wear a helmet, but it’s a personal choice. Licensing would kill this gathering social shift towards pedals over petrol in its cradle.

  • Larry Littlefield

    The key, absolutely, is health insurance.

    Many insurers offer subsidies for health clubs who confirm the insured shows up and get exercise. The health care savings of the improved health of those who commute by bicycle would certainly pay for bicycle commuting, if there were such confirmation available.

  • William Lawson

    Imagine them doing a million rides a day. Imagine one side of every block is a bikeshare station plus parking for private bikes and a loading zone for trucks. And so many people cycling that they had to double up the bike lanes. Totally attainable.

  • zach

    Imagine if Citibike covered 90% of the city, or even 60%.

  • What I imagine is that the zone covered by Citi Bike would expand not contiguously, but, rather, to various subway stations. For instance, Citi Bike should be available in a several-mile radius of the F terminal at 179th Street, the J and E terminal at Parsons-Archer, and the 7 terminal at Main Street.

    In Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, and Long Island City/Astoria, Citi Bike is a means to get to your destination. In eastern Queens, it would be a means to get to the subway.

  • meelar2

    It’ll go even higher once they bring the ebikes back! Very excited for it.

  • Daphna

    Beautiful vision you expressed. It just takes political will to achieve it. Very few other obstacles to making this type of change.

  • Wilfried84

    Just let me use my pre-tax transit benefit dollars to pay for it. That’s a ~40% subsidy right there. IRS, I can use that money for every other kind of public transit, so why can’t I use it for Citi Bike?

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