Monday, September 29, 2014

Has Citi Bike tapped out existing customer base?

Annual membership topped out at 105,367 in April and has been declining since. Membership will certainly soar again once the Phase 2 expansion begins. But if this year follows last year’s pattern, interest in membership starts to wane in September. So it’s hard to see the membership climbing again in the short term.
We’ll take another look when the September numbers come out.

Source: NYC DOT

Here’s a good look at the (now unionized) Cit Bike workforce

To the story

An excerpt

But the bike workers aren’t agitating for, say, a guaranteed pension. First, they want a $1.50 raise — one “we were promised” after 90 days, says Dolly Winter, a bike dispatcher.

They also want more predictability for part-timers and seasonal workers. “They dropped people to part-time” without warning last November, says Winter, “and a bunch of people got laid off.”

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Available bikes weekday by weekday

This pretty much supports our recent post about the fleet contracting by 13 percent between end of April and end of August.

Empty/filled stations weekday by weekday

Past week's NotSpot Index: Four straight weeks in the Yellow Zone

We have modified the way we approach data on days that stay in the blue zone because of weather. Starting with last week, we are not including those days in the week’s NotSpot number.

Jersey City decides to go with 500-bike Citi Bike system

To the story

An excerpt

Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City, decided that he would rather share bikes with New York than with his New Jersey neighbors. The three Hudson County municipalities ultimately went in two separate directions, with Hoboken and Weehawken planning to roll out 300 bikes between them by the end of November and Jersey City hoping to bring 500 to 600 Citi Bikes to its streets by next year.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday's rain is holding the week's average down

Citi Bike fleet shrinks 13% from April; 60% of fleet needed repairs in August

We spent some time this week with the monthly reports that New York City Bike Share, operators of Citi Bike, must file with the city’s Department of Transportation.
We were blown away by some of the numbers:
  • The size of the fleet at the end of August has dropped 742 bikes (13%) from April, the first month that number was made available. In August the fleet size stood at 5066 bikes, down from April’s 5808.
  • Also in August, 3109 bikes underwent “in-shop maintenance.” That’s more than 60% of the fleet. In July, 4150 bikes went in-shop during Jully, the highest monthly total to date.

  • The scope of vandalism to bikes and stations surprised us, too. NYCBS reported 154 incidents last month. April’s 233 incidents is the highest monthly total to date.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I heart Citi Bike: Some recent rants and kisses on social media

I love Citi Bike

If you live or work in NYC and don't subscribe to CitiBike on an annual basis, shame on you -- you've made a mistake.

everybody be on #citibike downtown, I had to jump on the bandwagon to see what the hype was about now I love it

What I thought I would use sparingly has become my primary mode of transport (especially during this cool summer). Is Citibike worth it? Resounding yes here. Even if they raise the prices, it'll be my first option to get around (weather permitting).

I hate Citi Bike

Don't bother! If you live in NYC, save yourself the trouble and buy your own bike and lock it on the street. Had the membership about 3 weeks and it's nothing but trouble - stations don't work, stations without bikes, stations that don't accept bikes - trouble. Maybe it's nice if you have all day to look for a bike or look for a station to dock it, but if you need to be somewhere on time - buy your own bike, take a taxi or ride the train.
I'm fairly certain that there's no group of people I dislike more than #citibike people
As a native of Manhattan, I am sooo against CitiBike… It is so anti-New York City. Visual Garbage.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Here’s a read through some recent ‘bad behavior’ rants at #citibike

MMaybe it's just me, but I think Citibike is taking the wrong approach to saving money. #citibike #ouch 

Moron riding a #citibike just ran a red and nearly took me out in the crosswalk…then gave me the stink-eye like I did something wrong.

Almost got hit by a #citibike riding on the sidewalk. I mean really???? That is a jerk move of epic proportions. Even by NYC standards.#wow


To the gentleman peddling HARD down the middle of 2nd ave traffic - you're on #citibike not a GD motorcycle. Pull it together.
Amazed to watch all the people in NYC riding #citibike not wearing a helmet. Alert: citi Bikes don't have magic safety force fields! Right?

Saw THREE #citibike bikes w/ stolen bike seats this morning. Ridiculous petty theft. @CitibikeNYC needs to invest in seat locks.

So a woman just crashed into a car with a #citibike Big bang, she's lucky to walk away. Cyclists, you are not invincible, the Car will win.

Is there anything more irritating than being shoaled by #citibike'r when on a real #bikeNYC?

Why is this rented Cities Bike locked up? #stoleit #citibike @ Greeley Square

The @CitibikeNYC van drivers are just as erratic as the #citibike drivers! #lawless

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Have 2 reports of long Citi Bike waits, lines at Penn Sta around 9 am

One on Facebook, one Twitter:
  • Another @CitibikeNYC fail today. Line 15-deep for bikes at Penn Station, and nobody restocking bikes.
  • A couple of days ago I posted here about how much better Citi Bikes had been doing--all summer long not a single wait over 2 minutes, etc... This morning I waited half an hour at Penn Station for a bike. I thought "Summer must be over!" But that's tomorrow... Is this how it's going to be till next summer?
Here’s a look at the station status at 9:16 today. The station has been rebalanced twice today, at 3 am and again at 5 am but neither effort filled the station to near capacity. We’ll keep checking as the day progresses...
Screenshot at 3:20 pm

Monday, September 22, 2014

This week's Crank-o-Meter: NotSpots take the top spot (again)

NotSpots remained the top complaint for the second week in a row. Total complaints rose to 109 from 88.

Trending up

Abandoned/stolen bikes
Dock Lock

Trending down
Bad behavior
Billing issues

Last four weeks: Aug 24 through Sept. 20

Rant of the week

From Yelp
I'm a first time user tourist from out of town. After reading the web site and kiosk, I was under the impression I would be charged approx $10.00 for 24 hours.. Big mistake, I used a bike for about 7 hours and was charged $155.65 on my credit card. I telephoned NYCbike and they told me I did not properly read the pricing instructions. The front page of the web site seems to trick a person into believing he/she will only be charged $10.00 for 24 hours. The customer service reps basically told me "tough rocks sucker!"


City Controller auditing Citi Bike

To the story

An excerpt

Auditors are conducting an in-depth review of the finances and management of Citi Bike, including revenue and cost of operations, condition and maintenance of equipment, and the availability of bikes to riders, according to Stringer’s office.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

There are 323 operating Citi Bike stations. Adopt one today.

There are 323 operating Citi Bike stations. Adopt one today.

Do you visit one or several stations on a regular (2x or more weekly) basis? How about reporting on conditions there, whenever things go awry or you’re especially pleased.

We’ll post the reports and your pics on this blog and categorize the issues. And we’ll develop a station-specific listserv so your fellow riders can get texts or email alerts.

So c’mon. Put yourself on the map today. Email us at to work out the details.

Available bikes day by day

Summer was nice while it lasted...

Another funny tweet

Maybe it's just me, but I think Citibike is taking the wrong approach to saving money. #citibike #ouch

Rant of the day

Gee that's smart- take a while riding a . stupid

When Branding Is Too Good: A Cautionary Tale From New York's Citi Bike

To the story

An excerpt

The problem is that it can be hard to decipher where Citi Bike ends and Citibank begins, making it difficult to entice additional sponsors to join. When you allow one company to brand your service so completely, there’s little benefit left to offer other potential funding partners.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

With seasonal crews gone, NotSpots increase by 25%

Third straight week in the zone of mediocrity. The reversal in Citi Bike’s rebalancing ability so coincides with Labor Day and the dismissal of seasonal employees -- just as rebalancing got better around Memorial Day.
Four weeks ago, the NotSpot Index stood at 29; this past week hit 37 -- more than a 25% degradation in service.
We’ve said before and we’ll say it again: Rebalancing is a manpower issue.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hey Citi Bike riders, take the new-seats poll

Poll at right

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How accurate is the Citi Bike app?

A little more than half the time, our two surveys totalling 40 stations indicate. Here are the results:

ACCURATE = exactly reflecting conditions on the ground
SLIGHTLY OFF = off by fewer than 5 bikes or docks
WAY OFF = off by 6 or more bikes or docks
ANNOYINGLY OFF  = where it tells you all is well at a station that is filled, empty or dead

16 stations

Lower East Side, Two Bridges, some Chinatown


24 stations

Financial District, Battery City


40 stations



About the Annoyingly Off

Division & Bowery station dead
When we docked at Division & Bowery in Two Bridges we got a yellow light but the bike locked.
Because, stupidly, we forgot to pack our Citi Bike key, we conducted this survey using a day pass. We got another pass, but after being rejected at six docks, we called customer service.

Yes, we were told, our trip into Division & Bowery had not closed out. This reinforces the biggest lesson we have learned from monitoring social media complaints about Citi Bike:
MEMBERS, check your trip log after every outing. PASS USERS, call after each day’s use and make sure all trips have closed. OK, end of sermon.

We got another pass, but still no go. Customer service again, got the same gentleman who this time checked the station and pronounced it a deader.

Front St & Maiden Ln station empty
The app read 32 bikes and 2 open docks when conditions at the station were actually 39 bikes and 0 open docks.

Comparing NYU Bikeshare with Citi Bike

To the story

An excerpt

The NYU Bikeshare is every college student’s favorite price: free. All you have to do is fill out an online form and sit through a dull bike safety course...Free is hard to beat, but you should take two other costs into account: your helmet and your existing transportation budget.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ouch! We screwed up on our Wet Butt Tue post. Cracked seat % much better

There HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT on cracked seats. We overthunk ourselves. Because we used the same cracked-seat bike so many times, we decided to delete it from the count of bikes docked. But forgot to delete said bike from cracked seats column. Sorry, Citi Bike.

But the truer picture is cracked seats have dropped from 68% of all bikes surveyed in August to 56% in the September, a half-assed number if we ever saw one. Sorry again, Citi Bike.

Here's the revised tally

Lower East SideBialystoker Pl & Delancey St20
Lower East SideCherry St33
Lower East SideColumbia St & Rivington St22
Lower East SideHenry St & Grand St31
Lower East SideMadison St & Clinton St130
Lower East SideMadison St & Montgomery St10
Lower East SidePike St & Monroe St22
Lower East SidePitt St & Stanton St00
Lower East SideRivington St & Ridge St10
Two BridgesCatherine St & Monroe St99
Two BridgesDivision St & Bowery169
Two BridgesMarket St & Cherry St33
Two BridgesSt James Pl & Oliver St1810
Two BridgesSt James Pl & Pearl St149
ChinatownPike St & E Broadway11
ChinatownCanal St & Rutgers St1710