Friday, April 19, 2013

Let's take a closer look at the Citi Bike

You may have seen the reports Wednesday where the Department of Transportation said that more than 5,000 people have registered in the first two days for the bike-share program that launches, probably, in early May. Annual memberships cost $95, and riders can use bikes for up to 45 minutes without an extra charge. (Anyone buy a membership?)

Meanwhile! If you haven't already done this, you can learn more about the bikes at the Citibike website.

Among the bike's features:

Integrated Shifter & Handlebars
The integrated 3-speed shifter lets you shift
gears with a flick of the wrist. Upright bars
give you greater visibility and comfort.

Protective Rack
The strong, protective frame & elastic strap let you secure a
wide range of bags.

Chain Guard & No-Spray Fenders
Front & rear fenders keep
you dry in the rain, while a
chain guard keeps grease
off your pants.

What do you think now? Aside from the fact that No-Spray Fenders would be an awesome band name.

Oh, and here's where you will be able to find the docking stations around the East Village. Here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Here are your East Village bike share locations, probably

Report: Citi Bike share back on track for a May debut, probably definitely

The East Village is in the 1st rollout phase of the bike-share program this May, probably for sure


cathryn said...

CitiBike?? Does everything with the Bloomberg Admin have to have a corporate logo on it and be commercialized?? Thanks for the post. I had not been following this.

Anonymous said...

While I wish it had a cooler/better sponsor, I don't want my taxes paying for this program (add it to the list). So sponsorship is a necessity.

James C. Taylor said...

I'm calling it the Shea Bike.

Anonymous said...

All you complainers...ought to try and look at the bright side. Conveniently rhymes with Shitti-bike. Shitti-bank. Shitti-field. At least we got that going for us.

Anonymous said...

Bought a membership. It is about $100 all in for unlimited free 45 minute rides for a year. Obviously the year begins when the bikes are actually available. Seems easier than locking a bike, and I used Bixi in Montreal and it was awesome - especially with the app Citibike will also have which tells you, in real time, what the inventory is nearby and whether there is an open space. This is a totally positive thing for NYC and especially the EV, where bike racks are uncommon and bike theft and vandalism are pretty bad. I spend $100 a year just fixing my bike from drunks kicking it or people taking parts off of it, so this is welcome.

dwg said...

Don't know- $95 a year? Wonder how much the penalty fee is when you go over 45 mins? When I first read about it seemed penalty was a lot. Sidewalks are already such a mess in retail areas with delivery and personal bikes chained up everywhere. And I agree- this doesn't make up for Citibank's bad practices.

Anonymous said...

is there any way this could possibly not end up being a disaster?

Anonymous said...

I also used this in DC, where it's known as Capital Bikeshare. The DC city government actually funded it and I think they were the first city in the US to implement the bikeshare. The impressive thing is that the bike share blew away expectations and as of a year ago, it was nearly operationally profitable (

Anyway, that article states that there really is no other mass transit system that is nearly even close to fully operationally profitable.

Citibike is funded by a corporate sponsor but I think this is the right move for NYC. It'll be great to use in the EV and LES.

Anonymous said...

Alison Cohen, the president of Alta Bike Share (the company that is running Citibike), left her position earlier this month to take a job with a rival bike share company. Abandoning a sinking ship, perhaps?

Meanwhile, in Toronto, Bixi (Alta's parent company) is facing such financial difficulties that it may be shut down.

The Finacial Times reported that Goldman Sachs bailed out Citibike with a $41 million "community re-investment" loan in December 2012.

How long before Citibike is bankrupt?

Gojira said...

I hope this program tanks. Anyone who has seen a map of the bike docks that are going to literally be flooding Manhattan should be appalled; I don't care what anyone says, New York is not Amsterdam and there is no place on the streets for that many bikes, especially when they are being pedaled around by tourists unfamiliar with the vagaries of NY traffic. How many fatalities before this Bloomberg boondoggle is shut down?

Matt said...

Got my membership. I ride my bike everywhere and still will, but it'll be great for one-way rides when I take the bus to work or my plans fall through or the weather changes and it's suddenly a nice day for a ride home from work. It means having the option of getting from Point A to Point B for short trips without navigating Points D, N and Z via the MTA. So what if it wears a bank's livery? We'll call it Bike Share anyway, and wiseacres will print up stickers that read "Shiti" and afix perfectly to the logo, and we'll all have a good laugh and a cheap and effective new form of quasi-public transportation.

aveaisessex said...

Bought a membership and am extremely excited to begin using the service, complainers be damned. There will surely be an adjustment period, but I'm confident that five years from now, this will be an integral party of our city.

Fashion By He said...

@cathryn would you rather pay for this with your tax dollarS? what kind of comment is that? citibank is paying for it, say thank you

Spike said...

@Matt -- good points. As a regular biker I hadn't thought about getting a membership, but I might just do it.

Anonymous said...

In minneapolis they take the bikes out at a certain point in the winter. With the weather being so unpredictable these days that should be interesting. So A year membership is not really going to be 12 mo.

I'm wondering if the tires are air filled and what if there are flats?

I see this as a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see this work, but I'm concerned for casual users' safety. I just got back from DC where the only people I saw using the bikes were tourists wobbling uncertainly on sidewalks or trying to ride against traffic. I also saw many near misses of bikeshare users in Paris when I was there a couple of summers ago.

I'd love for this to work and for cycling to be safer than it currently is in the city, but we have a car and trick driving population that is generally impatient, drives too fast, doesn't respect bike lanes and the NYPD seem much keener on punishing cyclists than enforcing safe driving.

And yes, we have too many cyclists that ride against traffic, run red lights, etc.

$95 is too steep for me to see if I'll use it casually (even as a cyclist in the city). Maybe there'll be a short-term trial membership that will be available. I'd want to know if I can deal with a heavy sit-up-and-beg old lady bike with weird gears and a stupid wide seat before I commit too much cash.

I hope I'm wrong, but I'd be willing to bet we'll see more than one picture of one of these bikes wrapped in the grill of a cab or black car over the summer.

Kimberley said...

I got my membership and am looking forward to using these bikes rather than taking one of the many buses in order to get to subway stations or just short distances. 26c a day is super cheap.

Matt said...

Well, regarding safety, there's a well-documented "safety in numbers" effect where more riders equals fewer accidents (probably mainly because more bike riders also has a well-documented calming effect on drivers). Yeah, NYC has a jerky car culture, and a jerky bike culture to match. That's already beginning to change, and the more bikes on the streets, the faster it will change.

And haters, FFS, calm down already. It's okay. Bloomberg actually did us all a solid here. NYC won't be any less NYC just because the mostly-B&T drivers have to behave themselves a little better.

sinestra said...

As a driver I have to follow the law, I have to stop at red lights, I can't go the wrong way down a one-way street, I have to park responsibly, I have to register my vehicle and keep it in working order.
I think many bike riders must learn to behave themselves a little better.
NYC is a 24-7 on the go city, so, no, having gaggles of bikes riding 3 across while chatting and playing with their phones, slowing down traffic while being clueless AND entitled is not something I look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Anything that cuts down on available parking (thereby reducing cars) is a win.

Anonymous said...

5k in a city of 8mm?


Nice seeing GS being taken to the cleaners, though when you think about it, the money would have been better spent elsewhere...

Mark Hand The Catchman said...

I wonder how many lawsuits this will generate against the City and Citi when people are injured while operating or getting hit by these bikes? ...
I'm sure most will be settled
And are those 'free' 45 minutes used up in one shot or can you say have 2 20mn bike rides, say to and fro work, shopping, root canal or anal bleaching session? [YUNnie has to look good]

D.J. said...

This is awesome - can't wait. Will definitely make getting to more out of the way spots a little easier.

And ShutUpHooker - as I understand it, you have unlimited free biking periods (30 min for daily/weekly users, 45 min for yearly members). You can take as many rides as you want, just put the bike back at any station before your time is up.

Sinestra said...

7:44PM, if you don't like cars, I think you're living in the wrong place, i.e. an urban environment.
Those parts of the city that have no parking are more urban and congested than these residential side streets in the EV. Look at Meatpacking, Midtown, Chelsea. It is impossible to park there- is it quiet and peaceful because of that? No, it is quite the opposite.
Cities cannot be car free except in your imagination- there are literally millions of people who live in the outskirts and who need to get to work and don't live near reliable, safe or rapid transit, and they don't need your judgmental attitude.
You live in the city, near your job, you are fit enough to ride everywhere 24-7, 365. Good for you!
Now fuck off and stop judging people you have no idea about.

Crazy Eddie said...

Anybody know how much these Blue
Demons weigh? They have to be close to 36 pounds at least. They don't give the weight at their website.

Jane Klein said...

WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO PARK MY CAR NOW? I live in the Far West Village/Meat Packing District, where we are not only flooded by tourists looking to park, but also constant filming and the blocks and blocks at a time that Blloomberg rents Film Company's every day of the week. Already parking in this neighborhood was near impossible and now we have these massive bike stations to contend with. Of course the city chose not to give up their metered locations for these contraptions, and instead put them on the small local blocks where we residents with cars used to park! I initially thought this was a great idea. I also thought it was to be free, like most citi bike share programs. Not so. There are also several small mom & pop bike stores & rentals in this neighborhood already. I guess it's only a matter of time before they go out of business; gone with the laundrymats, deli's and affordable eats. I wish I could be on board with this program as I agree with it completely in principal. However the logistics are somewhat inconsistent with the idea.