Saturday, January 31, 2015

Citi Bike steadily recovering from post-snowstorm station crash

About the NotSpot Index

As the storm began during the Monday morning commute, Citi Bike announced it was suspending rebalancing efforts. Instead, its crews concentrated on getting bikes out of stations exposed to the wrath of snowplows either to off-street stations or back to the shops.
That reduced the available bike count from the pre-storm level by about 200 to 1765 on Tuesday afternoon. Given last winter’s experience, when bikes at many stations were entombed for weeks under plowed snow turned to ice, that seemed to be the prudent way to go.
On Monday at 7 pm, as the storm neared, Citi Bike shut down the entire system -- a first, in step with the rest of the city’s transit systems. Service resumed at 10:30 Tuesday morning as the snow turned to flurries.
Throughout the storm, the number of operating stations remained constant at a normal level of 326 out of 330. Then whammo! Sometime Tuesday evening or early Wednesday 65 stations conked out. That took the available bike count down to 1400 on Wednesday at 8:30 am, by far the lowest ever since we began tracking in January 2014.
The event eclipsed the previous system crash of Dec. 3, 2014 when a telecommunications glitch took out more than 50 stations and 800-plus bikes.

The system steadily recovered through Friday, although 14 more stations crashed before Saturday morning.
Here’s what Citi Bike said Thursday morning on Facebook concerning its recovery efforts:

Since the snow stopped falling on Tuesday, our teams have been working around the clock to reboot stations and shovel the 8 inches of snow we did get. 75% of stations have been totally cleared of snow so far and we are on schedule to complete snow removal today. There are still some stations that are in queue to be serviced (20). Please check the app for live station updates before starting a trip.

Another encouraging indicator of Citi Bike’s performance is how the NotSpot Index progressively improved after the storm.

About the NotSpot Index

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