Monday, March 31, 2014

Fast Company has some good charts on daily, year-to-date use of the system

We might have some fun with this one

Monday gives us a green streak

searched 'green streak'
It’s now a green streak, six days running in the favorable zone. Monday’s NotSpot℠ score was 20.

Monday profile
WEEK 1320
WEEK 1229
WEEK 1133
WEEK 1035
WEEK 939
WEEK 841
WEEK 732
WEEK 644
WEEK 530
WEEK 435
WEEK 318*
WEEK 222
WEEK 118*
Asterisk indicates adverse weather conditions

DK Watch: Day Four
A recap is in order. We started following DK&V last Wednesday after the empty station was rebalanced with 10 bikes.

On Thursday, the last of those 10 was gone by 8 am and the station spent 4 hours in Notspotland. Bikes returned in the evening hours.

On Friday, the station was empty by 8:30 am and DK&V racked up 8 more NotSpot hours

Today, it took until 9 am to empty out. Seven more for the NotSpot score!

Let’s do that again
Thu - empty 8 am
Fri - empty 8:30 am
Mon - empty 9 am

Just counting.

The King of All NotSpots
The King struck in Williamsburg, taking out S 4 St & Wythe Ave for 8.5 hours.

Available bicycle count
Bikes available at 5:30 pm today: 4223
Bikes available at  5:30 pm Friday: 4341

Bikes available at  5:30 pm a week ago:4350

Please take Brooklyn College student's survey on bike-sharing

Hello. My name is Mandy Fricke and I am a student at Brooklyn College. I am conducting research on New York City's bike share program, Citi Bike, for my market research class. The purpose of this survey is to help improve Citi Bike's services to your satisfaction. The survey will take just a few minutes of your time - thank you for your participation.

Downtown Brooklyn is back on Boogie Street

Sixteen stations made the inaugural Boogie Street list -- those stations that racked up 10 or more consecutive NotSpot℠ hours last week. And, ouch! Five of them are in Downtown Brooklyn.

Financial DistrictMaiden Ln & Pearl St203/26/2014
Midtown NorthW 51 St & 6 Ave173/26/2014
Downtown BrooklynClinton St & Tillary St173/26/2014
TribecaDuane St & Greenwich St123/27/2014
Hells KitchenW 52 St & 9 Ave123/25/2014
Civic CenterCentre St & Chambers St113/26/2014
Downtown BrooklynGallatin Pl & Livingston St113/26/2014
Downtown BrooklynLawrence St & Willoughby St113/26/2014
Fort GreeneClermont Ave & Park Ave113/26/2014
Fort GreeneDeKalb Ave & S Portland Ave113/25/2014
WilliamsburgS 3 St & Bedford Ave113/27/2014
Downtown BrooklynConcord St & Bridge St10.53/25/2014
Downtown BrooklynConcord St & Bridge St10.53/27/2014
Fort GreeneClermont Ave & Park Ave10.53/25/2014
Tudor CityE 43 St & 2 Ave103/27/2014
Financial DistrictPark Pl & Church St103/26/2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alta CEO: Relax Portland, you won’t get NYC’s sucky software

Guest opinion in the Oregonian

An excerpt
Portland benefits for its decision to wait until spring to launch bike share, so we can take advantage of the experience in over 40 other cities. When bike share begins in Portland next spring, we will be getting a state-of-the-art product (including software different from New York’s) that has been successfully street-tested in communities such as Boston, London, Toronto, Montreal, and Washington D.C.

No comment

Friday, March 28, 2014

Week's station performance best in a month

  • Friday’s NotSpot℠ score of 31 puts the entire week in the Green Zone. And gives the week a score of 27, the best score in the last four weeks
  • Full stations hit a record 8 at 11:30, the same time we recorded the highest available bike count of the week, 4815. It proves you can have too much of a good thing.

Friday profile

WEEK 1231
WEEK 1139
WEEK 1026
WEEK 925
WEEK 818
WEEK 733
WEEK 635
WEEK 533
WEEK 432
WEEK 336
WEEK 221
WEEK 19*
Asterisk indicates adverse weather conditions

DK Watch: Day Three
When we left DK&V at 5:30 yesterday it was empty.  

It began filling up about 6 pm and stayed about half-full until morning and emptied by 8:30 a.m today.

And stayed empty all day with the exception of three bikes that arrived and very quickly departed.

Gaynor Award update
Another stations bit the dust Thursday -- Tribeca’s Duane St & Greenwich St. That narrows the field to 37 stations that have not recorded a single NotSpot minute this year.

The King of All NotSpots

The King ravaged the Maiden Lane & Pearl St station for 22 hours Thursday and today.

Available bicycle count
Bikes available at 5:30 pm today: 4341
Bikes available at  5:30 pm yesterday: 4260
Bikes available at  5:30 pm a week ago: 4105

Boston's poor can get bike membership prescribed by doctor. $5 annual fee

New city program lets doctors ‘prescribe’ bike-sharing memberships

An excerpt

The City of Boston has announced a program to subsidize bike-sharing memberships for low-income residents, in partnership with Boston Medical Center.

The program, “Prescribe-a-Bike,” would allow doctors at Boston Medical Center to prescribe low-income patients with a yearlong membership to Hubway, a bike-share program, for only $5.

Participants would be allowed unlimited number of trips on the bicycles, provided they use them for 30 minutes or less at a time. They will also be given a free helmet, the mayor’s office said in a joint statement with Boston Medical Center.


Public funding. No mention of any attempt to get a pharmaceutical to pay for the program.

Oh goodie! A tabloid war erupting over Citi Bike

Citi Bike racks sit unused in Brooklyn boondocks

An excerpt
The five least-used stations in the 329-rack system are all in Kings County, NYC Bike Share revealed. “As has been the pattern, the least-frequented destination stations are in Brooklyn, particularly the stations in and around the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” the report said.


We just love it when the tabloids pull out the word "exclusive"!

WYNC has a great and sorely underutilized (by us) map that focuses on how long a station sits unused. When we took the screenshot at about 1:15 pm today there was only one station that “earned” a yellow icon for going unused more than three hours. There’s a link to the map in the resources section of the right rail.

How London solved its NotSpot problem: Threatened to fine operator

NYC’s British bike-share lesson: Citi Bike might cost tax dollars in the end

An excerpt
The bikes were supposed to be evenly distributed at docks around the city, so they would be where you needed them, when you needed them. Transport authorities were slow to spot that this wasn’t happening, and in fact many docks were empty while — still worse — others were full, leaving users circling the neighborhood with nowhere to park up.
Under threat of hefty fines, private contractor Serco hired more staff to redistribute the bikes by lorry (that's by truck).


  • The original sponsor of the London bike-share program, Barclays, did not renew its sponsorship, probably because they didn’t get much bang for their buck. The bikes became known as Boris Bikes, after the London mayor who championed the program, Boris Johnson.

  • The solution -- trucks filled with bikes and crews -- is what we propose.

  • Looks like the Daily News is starting to pay serious attention to bike sharing. This is their third major piece this week.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Queens pols press for expansion with public or private funds

An excerpt

[Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) ] Van Bramer and state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) have both pushed for CitiBike to come to Western Queens, and Alta had every intention of rolling out the bike share to Long Island City, followed by stations in Astoria.
“The important thing is that it continue operating whether it’s public or private funds,” Gianaris said. “Hopefully the mayor’s announcement doesn’t forbode a thing to come.”

Four straight in the Green Zone -- that's a first

Searched 'greenish blue'
So Thursday comes in a nice shade of green, trending to blue with a NotSpot℠ score of 23. And, maybe a mini-trend here -- this is the first time all year we’ve stayed in the Green Zone four straight days.

Thursday profile

WEEK 1223
WEEK 1147
WEEK 1024
WEEK 921
WEEK 820
WEEK 736
WEEK 637
WEEK 533
WEEK 429
WEEK 323
WEEK 224
WEEK 118
Asterisk indicates adverse weather conditions

DK Watch

The saga so far

  • Yesterday we started out  with a visit from the rebalance crew. They left 10 bikes.
  • Those 10 bikes dwindled to one bike by eight this morning.
  • That one bike sat unmolested for 4 hours. Then somebody took it.
  • A short while later a bike arrived. And somebody else very quickly took that one.
  • The station stayed empty for two hours.
  • Then a bike arrived. And somebody very quickly took that one, too.
  • A third bike arrived. It polished its spokes for two hours. Then somebody took it. The station went empty again at around 5:30 pm today.

Gaynor Award update
Scratch Greenwich Village’s MacDougal St & Washington Sq station from the list of contenders for the Gaynor Award. It went empty at 9 am yesterday and stayed that way for a paltry 1.5 hours, but a NotSpot eliminating blemish nonetheless.

The King of All NotSpots

The King proved you can be in two places at once, taking out two stations for 17 hours each.
First to go down was The Worst NotSpot℠ in the City, Downtown Brooklyn’s Clinton St & Tillary St at 1 pm Wednesday. Midtown’s W 51 St & 6 Ave station went bikeless at 6 pm.

Available bicycle count

Bikes available at 5:30 pm today: 4260
Bikes available at  5:30 pm yesterday: 4535
Bikes available at  5:30 pm a week ago: 3955

The King of All NotSpots

The King proved you can be in two places at once, taking out two stations for 17 hours each.
First to go down was The Worst NotSpot℠ in the City, Downtown Brooklyn’s Clinton St & Tillary St at 1 pm Wednesday. Midtown’s W 51 St & 6 Ave station went bikeless at 6 pm.

Available bicycle count

Bikes available at 5:30 pm today: 4260
Bikes available at  5:30 pm yesterday: 4535
Bikes available at  5:30 pm a week ago: 3955

Does size matter? No, but being available does

A lot of numbers get thrown around in these Citi Bike stories. Alta put out the 6,000-bike number in its statement yesterday. In an earlier WSJ interview with Alta’s CEO, 7,000 bikes was the Opening Day number. We think its important to use the one number that’s actually meaningful to bike sharers -- how many bikes are available to me. Right now.

The answer of course is that it varies. But this year there have never been 6000 bikes in the docks, let alone 7,000. The most we’ve recorded is 5674 on a cold, rainy Friday evening, Jan. 18. The fewest is 3160 on Feb 19.

Here’s the count day by day since Jan 5.

Another number that is a little lower than the number you usually see in news stories is the number of stations in the system. 

  • The Alta statement says CitiBike opened with 332 stations.
  • Brooklyn’s Cadman&Red Cross station went out of service in November.
  • Citi Bike took away E 24 St & Park Ave S  this month and planned to replace it a block but some judge stepped in the way.
  • There are almost always several stations that are out of service for various reasons. Today there are five.
So today, for Citi Bike users, there are 325 stations.