Sunday, November 30, 2014

Count the Citi Bikes in this fun vid: We came up with 7

Saturday, November 29, 2014

We’re back in the (ugh) Yellow Zone

Link to this visualization

Only Monday and Tuesday contributed to this past week’s NotSpot numbers. Wednesday was a washout and Thursday and Friday were holidays.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vandalism along Citi Bike system increases for 4th month in row

Link to this visualization

Vandalism to Citi Bikes and stations is on the increase for the fourth straight month, and October had the third most incidents of any month since reporting began.
The system operators define vandalism "including stickers, graffitti, and damage to stations and bicycles."
Source: NYC Bike Share monthly reports

Plenty more here

Rebalancing effort off 14% from last year

Link to this visualization

Citi Bike’s operators are devoting considerably fewer resources to balancing the system than they did for the four months we can compare to last year. In 2014, they’ve moved 15 percent fewer bikes while empty/full stations rose by five percent.

The operator do deserve credit, though, for making sure this October was way better than last, when empty/full stations hit 91K, the record to date.

Source: NYC Bike Share monthly reports

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Winter-like weather does what Citi Bike won’t: gets system closer to being balanced

Link to this visualization
It took a week of winter-like weather to break our streak of 11 weeks in the yellow zone, where more than 15 percent of the bike-share system is useless because of empty/filled stations.

Friday, November 21, 2014

If penalty fees = half of day-pass rent revenue, is the business model ethical?

This viz tracks New York City’s Citi Bike revenues collected from selling day passes against the revenue made from imposing penalty fees. The proportion peaked in May when penalties hit 61 percent of sales revenue. In October, that number was 54 percent.

Year to date, NYC Bike Share has collected $1.8 million from pass purchasers. That’s 10% of all revenue before sponsorships.

We continue to maintain that when penalties become a significant revenue stream, something’s wrong with the model.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Citi Bike memberships, pass purchases all are on decline from last year

Link to this visualization
While annual memberships have been declining since May, in October, for the first time in the four months we have to compare, memberships dropped below last year’s level. 

Since the announcement of the membership price increase to $149 from $95 came so late in October, we won't see the impact of that until November's report is issued.
Link to this visualization

Link to this visualization
Purchases  of 1- and 7-day passes have never equaled last year’s numbers. In September, purchases of 1-day passes were off 32 percent and 7-day passes dropped by 34 percent.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Brilliant sponsorship!

The two-wheeled advertisement is for the upcoming remake of the 1982 classic, which comes out next month. Fifty of the red Annie bikes were rolled out today at the Citi Bike station at Broadway and 17th Street in Union Square, and will be circulating through the system until December 29th, 2014.

Manhattan, Brooklyn neighborhoods embrace Citi Bike expansion; Queens, not so much

Link to the visualization
From the very first day of Citi Bike service in New York City, public officials in Queens have been clamoring for an expansion to that borough.  So much so that Queens was chosen as the site for the official announcement of the coming expansion in 2015.

That enthusiasm doesn’t seem to have filtered down to Queens residents, however. This map plots the 211 suggestions for stations  the expansion areas made by the public between Nov. 1 and Nov. 16. The suggestions are logged at a site run by the New York City Department of Transportation and heavily promoted by Citi Bike.

With the exception of Astoria, suggestions for stations in Queens are relatively light compared to the intense activity in Harlem, the Upper East Side  and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of East Williamsburg and those south of Atlantic Ave.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Under new owners, no sign yet of improvement in NotSpot numbers; where's the cash infusion?

Link to this visualisation

So this week’s index comes in at 43. Like Thursday morning’s fog, that puts us in a funk.  

So much was made of the cash infusion that accompanied new ownership of the system. So where’s the money?
When the number hits 43, that means at morning rush -- 9 to 11 for Citibikers -- more than 20 percent of the system is not usable on most weekdays.

On Friday, usually the best day of the week, the index came in at 47 -- the worst Friday since the middle of May.
Rebalancing, as Citi Bike proved during the peak ridership season(that big chuck of summertime green, is nothing more than funding the proper number of crews, trikes, Hertz Rent A Trucks, whatever it takes.

Citi Bike in pursuit of that mangled bike. But it’s on the move!

Note the bottom comment from Citi Bike.  It gets better. The poster, who also posted an earllier pic, says it’s laying outside a “scrap metal place.”

A respondent on Reddit told us he saw it in South Williamsburg but couldn’t remember the street, if that helps, Citi Bike.

Newest pic: Nov. 14

Fifth pic: Nov. 10

First pic Nov 8 5:13 pm

Second pic Nov 9 at 9:44 pm

Third pic Nov. 9 at 10:30 pm

Fourth pic Nov. 10 at 5:22 am

Unfortunately, none of the photographers revealed the location. 

You can browse all instagram photos that contain the citibike hashtag here

We find it kinda jarring to come across bikes dumped in the river or mangled like this one popping up amidst all the I Heart Citi Bike pics. 

Then again once in a while you come across visual puns like this one:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Survey No. 4: Cracked seat replacement program seems to have stalled

For Survey No. 4, we visited 10 stations, starting in the Financial District and ending at Penn Station.
The accuracy rating of the app continues to deteriorate.  Here’s how we define accuracy:
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.

In this survey, the app reflected conditions on the ground at only two stations. And while we did not personally experience an annoying station visit, we consider ourselves lucky.  Just after we docked at W 14 St & The High Line, we witnessed another rider try all 13 open docks, the clangs and bangs getting louder as his frustration grew. When we commiserated, he muttered “It happens all the time” and rode off to the W 16 St & The High Line. So we scored that station experience an annoyance.

The cracked seat replacement program seems to have slowed down. This survey, we found 70 of 175 bikes, or 40%, had cracked seats. In our Sept. 26 survey, we found 43% cracked.  That was a great improvement over the Sept. 15 survey, when we found 56% cracked. In our first survey in early August we found 68% of all seats counted were cracked.

Dock lock: In our visit to 10 stations, we encountered only one dock that refused to take our bike, by far our best experience in each of the four surveys.

Bike availability. In this survey, 51% of the 392 bikes held useable bikes. TriBeca/Civic Center is at the top of the heap,with bikes at 72% of the 314 docks we surveyed. FiDi/Battery Park came in at 63% and Lower East/Two Bridges at a paltry 25%.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ban texting while cycling, NY legislator urges

To the story
An excerpt
Mark Treyger’s proposal also calls for the creation of a city-sanctioned bicycle safety course, which would be mandatory for first offenders.

Monday, November 10, 2014

We’re getting to watch this Citi Bike disintegrate before our very eyes; now 5 pics

Newest pic: Nov. 10

First pic Nov 8 5:13 pm

Second pic Nov 9 at 9:44 pm

Third pic Nov. 9 at 10:30 pm

Fourth pic Nov. 10 at 5:22 am

Unfortunately, none of the photographers revealed the location. 

You can browse all instagram photos that contain the citibike hashtag here

We find it kinda jarring to come across bikes dumped in the river or mangled like this one popping up amidst all the I Heart Citi Bike pics. 

Then again once in a while you come across visual puns like this one:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Could 10 straight weeks of high empty/filled station count be driving ridership down?

Link to this visualisation
 See the green patch in the middle? That was summer. The peak riding season.  From the week of June 9 (Week 23) through the last week of August, theNotSpot Index topped 34 on only two weeks.
For 10 long weeks now, since Labor Day, the Index has been in the yellow zone -- meaning more than 10 percent of the stations were empty or filled during our hourly surveys.
During October, ridership declined 15 percent from the previous year. We read the combination of those numbers this way: that somewhere around the 10 percent level, the inability to get and/or return a Citi Bike crosses the threshold from an occasional inconvenience to frustrating unreliability.

The frustrating part of this to us is that the system operators proved, as summer shows they can hold down NotSpots when they provide the proper staffing.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Citi Bike's helmet defense sparks pretty good debate on Reddit

Here’s what the Daily News story has spawned at /r/Citibike/ so far:

That's dumb. Nobody can be reasonably expected to wear a helmet on CitiBike. They'd have about a dozen members total if that were required. They made a system that cannot realistically be used the way they claim it should be used. Give me a break.
[–]borednboring[S] 1 point 1 day ago
As an annual member, I never get on a bike without a helmet. This particular individual is an experienced cyclist and annual member, he made the choice to ride without one.
Tourists are a different situation, as I agree, would drop ridership to near zero.
[–]Mikuro 2 points 1 day ago
I don't understand that. Do you carry a bike helmet with you everywhere you go? Or do you just use it for commuting to/from work or something? Before CitiBike, I never rode without a helmet, but with CitiBike that's just the way it is.
[–]borednboring[S] 2 points 1 day ago
I use CitiBike for commuting and errands so rides are planned in advance, and sometimes bring my helmet just in case. As much as I would love to grab a CitiBike on the go, (if walking somewhere sans helmet) I don't get on. Because I know that the one time I'm not wearing a helmet is the one time that I'd end up needing it.
However, besides common sense, I happen to be a paid bike instructor and tell my students to always wear helmets. I'd hate to end up in The Post after an accident as the dead bike instructor looking like a hypocrite. Joke would certainly be on me.
[–]MikeSz 1 point 2 days ago
Well yes in 20-20 hindsight he might have suffered a less serious injury if he had been wearing a helmet - doesn't take a genius to see that. I suppose this fact could reduce the award if they can figure out how serious his injuries would have been if he had worn a helmet and then reduce the award accordingly. I worry that "he didn't wear a helmet" could be used to take the blame off any road-raging driver who uses his car as a weapon. And I wish helmets were more effective at protecting against concussion.
[–]uni-twitBrooklyn 1 point 2 days ago
Well, yeah - the plaintiff says he's an avid rider and owns bikes and helmets, so clearly knows the risks of riding without one. Their web site - and, I assume, the pages of EULA you page through when renting by the hour - explicitly says "wear a helmet" but it's not the law.
Alta did figure out how to provide rental helmets in other cities, but the logistics seem impossible. Would kiosks shut down if helmets run out? Given what some people put in their hair, would riders really want to stick their head in a shared helmet? Does the size of the Citibike network make helmet kiosks too hard to manage?
The rider ran into an unpainted barrier of a docking station. Perhaps the problem is less lack of helmets and more that the grey docks need to be more distinguished from the tarmac/concrete sidewalks.
[–]borednboring[S] 2 points 1 day ago

I find it ironic that when the stations were first put down there was an uproar that they were too unsightly and ugly. Now the complaint is that they can't be seen and should be made more apparent. Could you imagine the initial outrage if the barriers were painted bright orange?