Monday, March 2, 2015

Just half of Citi Bike fleet on the streets in January

When Citi Bike opened in May 2013 the touted fleet size was 6000

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wish we had more confidence about this green stretch

About the NotSpot Index

With the weather so extreme we’re left to wonder if we’re really seeing a renewed commitment from Citi Bike’s to balancing the system, as it did last summer. Or is low ridership merely taking a lot of pressure off the system?

We exited the coldest February in 80 years with the NotSpot Index still in the green. It’s the second longest stretch of satisfactory performance after last summer’s seven weeks.

We factored out all of Monday (high winds and temps in 20s), four hours on Tuesday (temps below 20F),  and two hours on Thursday (wind, cold).

Saturday, February 28, 2015

No place left to put a sticker? Vandalism to Citi Bike stations hits all-time low

There were only eight incidents in January but the why of that is a bit of a behavioral mystery.  It wasn’t the weather. January 2014 was much more harsh and recorded 109 incidents.

Courtesy of AccuWeather

FYI, Citi Bike defines vandalism as "including stickers, graffiti, and damage to stations or bicycles”.

DOT recommends these new stations for Greenpoint, Williamsburg

The Brooklyn Paper obtained this DOT map

Friday, February 27, 2015

Maybe it’s time to get real about keeping bike share open in dead of winter

If you just look at ridership, we come away impressed by the relatively high use of the system in the winter. Even with 9,000 fewer members this January vs. last, those members took 2000 more rides this year. For some perspective, total rides in January, at around 314,000, are 30 percent of last summer’s peak in July.

But when you take a look at the costs of supporting those 314,000 rides, it’s kind of eye-popping. Revenue for January -- $126,000 -- is 5% of last July’s revenue and the lowest of any month since the system opened in May 2013. Throw in February 2014’s rides in and you’re at 10% of last July.

Total rides were up slightly over last January but average miles per trip set a new low.

And all but the most casual users of the system must notice the toll that winter takes on bikes left on the streets, those cracked seats, those frozen cranks, the repeated tweets from Citi Bike about wholesale station crashes. The salt.

Rides may decline 70 percent in winter, but station repairs don’t. January station malfunctions -- 402 -- are 87% of what they were in July. Single dock malfunctions, 81%.

If that’s not bleak enough, February in New York is shaping up to be the coldest since 1934, so look for even poorer numbers to surface.

Then on top of the cold, there’s the snow. Citi Bike doesn’t report operational expenses, but the manpower costs of shoveling out every plowed-in bicycle, a job that can only be done by hand, must be staggering. It took seven days for the system to recover from the big Jan 26-27 snow.

Much has been made of Citi Bike’s struggle to make money. Conceding to Mother Nature in January and February might help that goal considerably.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

About the NotSpot Index

Last week’s NotSpot index factors out all of Monday and most of Friday for extreme cold, and four hours during Tuesday’s “snizzle” -- that's a drizzle-like snowfall, says Accuweather.

The week marked the fourth straight in the green zone, the second longest stretch of acceptable performance since the index began.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Citi Bike workers protest for pay raise

To the story
An excerpt

This morning...a handful of other Citi Bike workers gathered outside the bikeshare system's largest and busiest station on 31st and 8th Ave to demand higher wages and improved health and safety measures.