Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Citi Bikes, work day 1

After yesterday's more leisurely Citi Bikes debut for riders with annual memberships... I decided to take a very unscientific look at the first working weekday for the bikes... I checked out the Docking Station at Astor Place (above) ... it was nearly empty the few times that I walked by ... (At the same time, docking stations near City Hall and Wall Street were reported full...)

An afternoon look at the docking station on East Seventh Street at Avenue A found a lot of bikes available ...

[Bobby Williams]

Crain's reported today that there were a few snafus in the system on Day 2, including that riders complained of problems docking their bikes.

Meanwhile today, WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show explored the question: Is the new bike share a practical – and fast — transportation option for congested NYC?

To find out, three WNYC employees left the same spot on Clinton Street and East Boradway, each taking different modes of transportation to get back to the station: bike share, cab and subway.

(Spoiler: the bike share won.)

You can listen to the segment here.

In other developments, there is already a Craigslist Missed Connection Post, per the Observer.

To date, more than 16,400 people have paid $95 for an annual membership, according to Crain's. BusinessWeek explores Citi's sponsorship angle in all this ("$41 million over five years is a rounding error for the company") ... while Motherboard explores who might be making money in all this.


DrGecko said...

Like I said previously, a total disaster. Water was coming down from the sky today, probably caused by Bloomberg (who no doubt stayed dry in high dudgeon). I can't imagine that the idiot designers even took this phenomenon into account. The seats were all wet and, not only that, but cold as well. I had to piss myself just to keep warm.

Just remember that next time anybody uses one of the bikes, it might be the one I pissed on. (No poop, though.)

Anonymous said...

Let's face it haters bikeshare is in our culture now. Today, a craigslist hookup, pretty soon bikesharing will make its way into that endless stream of generic comedy/rom com movies set in Manhattan as a handy little plot device. Pretty soon we will travel abroad and people, finding out we are from NYC, will ask us what bikeshare is like.

Anonymous said...

No bikes at 13th and A as of f11am today.

I predict this will be such a success that soon people will be asking for more bikes and more docking stations.

Anonymous said...

i picked up one of three remaining bikes at 13th and A around 10am today since there were none at 14th and B.

it'd be cool if they crunch some numbers and rebalance bike distribution with an eye toward commuters

Kimberley said...

My closest station was also barren most of the day despite the constant rain. More bikes please!

Anonymous said...

People are already asking for bikes. Demand across the city is insane. This program has the potential to be the most successful bike share on the planet.

On day one there were 12,000 rides, that beats Capital Bike share (US record holder) by 1,000 trips. Now consider only the initial 7,000 or so founding me members were allowed to participate this week. Finally take into account, as of today (day 2) there are 20,000 annual members.

This has the potential to revolutionize the way we get around in NYC. I joined, makes sense.

BT said...

"Demand across the city is insane"??? How would you know that - unless you have access to the data from the system - which means you work for the program.

PROPAGANDA. We are being lied to.

Tell me "Kimberly"... why haven't I seen you post on evgrieve in the past on any other topics? Why is it THIS topic (on which you get paid to post) that attracts all of your attention?

Kimberley said...

It's Kimberley with an 'e' and I've posted on this blog for the past 4 years since I've moved to the neighborhood. It's hilarious that you think Citibike cares enough about the naysayers on this one blog in order to pay someone to comment. And if so, where do I collect my paycheck?

Anonymous said...

Left my personal bike at the office yesterday afternoon because of the rain. So happy this morning that I did not have to take the very slow crosstown bus and instead hopped on a share bike for a one-way trip to work. It rode just fine to get me from point a to point b. 5th and C dock this morning - plentiful.

DrGecko said...

"How would you know that - unless you have access to the data from the system "

Everybody has access to data from the system. For human-readable data, see https://citibikenyc.com/blog

They also provide computer-readable data, such as the real-time location of the bikes, which is how 3rd-party apps were developed (there are 5 or 6 of those). More extensive data sets will be available after a shake-down period.

Also, "demand is insane" is a value judgment; doesn't require any actual data.

nygrump said...

The Global Owners definitely care what people post on blogs and have staff to smear. Nothing new, NYC was once the Tory center of America, the hub of the traitors. All GLORY ATO THE BANKSTERS! LET US THANK THEM FOR BLESSING US WITH PRIVATIZING OUR PUBLIC AREAS. Hey once they build that luxury housing in the public housing parking lots, they will decide the public housing is past its life span and knock them down, providing the luxury building with welcome light and air.

Giovanni said...

Of course everyone who rented a bike enjoyed using it more than taking the bus or subway--just ask anyone who uses a bike every day,! We all just wonder what took you so long to figure it out!

The real issue is how poorly planned this whole bike share thing has been, and now the commuters are risking their jobs by being late to work because the docks and keys aren't working properly. Many of the bikes wont re-dock or whole docking stations are mysteriously blacking out, and if you dont dock within 45 minutes, or someone takes the bike which was not properly returned you get charged $1000.

If you owned your own bike this wouldn't be an issue, you could buy a decent bikes a year fo the cost of the program, and 3-4 bikes for the cost of a lost Citibike.

On Monday I saw a very long line in Union Square at the CitiBike customer tent wit people complaining mainly about the docking and Bike Key problems. We were told this is a company who supposedly had a lot of experience doing bike share in other cities, you would think their systems would work.

This is smelling like the CitiTime scandal, which cost NY hundreds of billions in fake consulting fees, the largest scam ever pulled on the city, and all Bloomberg said was that sometimes contractors overcharge you. Is CitiBikes the next big outsourcing scandal?

I bet we could have found a few hundred local businesses who would help manage a bike share program with helmets outside their stores for a nice fee and the additional walking traffic it would bring. Or maybe we could just build more bike racks and give people a voucher/tax refund toward a purchase. But its too late, BikeShare has taken over the city. You'd think Bloomberg had invented the wheel, when in reality he only invented the circle. And money.

More examples in todays NY Post:

NY Post: ‘Citi Bikes made me late to work’

Maybe the DOT can write their bosses a late note.

Commuters using the city’s bike-share program on its first workday ran into a slew of technical problems — and confusion — that made them tardy for their jobs.

There were issues across the system, from Columbus Circle to Brooklyn Heights.

“My boss is really peeved!” said Gene Chan, who works for ad agency VML. “These Citi Bikes made me late to work.”

Chan, 34, hopped off the PATH train yesterday morning and planned to bike from Penn Station to his office at 58th and Broadway.

But the bike wouldn’t lock into its dock at his destination — and he was late getting in to the office.

‘REALLY FRUSTRATING!’ Commuter Gene Chan struggles to return his two-wheeler at Broadway and 57th Street yesterday (above) on the bike-share program’s first workday. “My boss is really peeved,” he said.

“I spent like 20 minutes trying to get my bike back inside the station,” he told The Post. “I didn’t want to be late for work but I didn’t want to be charged over $1,000 if the bike was stolen with my account info still on it.

Other exasperated riders complained that their special Citi Bike key — which allows them to pick up one of 6,000 three-speed cruisers at more than 300 locations — wouldn’t function.

“It’s not working!” an exasperated Barbara Becker, 45, said in Union Square. “I’ve tried it on about 30 bikes at 10 different kiosks and it doesn’t work. They said when I called yesterday that a lot of people are experiencing this problem.”


Anonymous said...

stupid question but are these things also available during the winter. These bike racks are going to make shovelling a real bitch, let alone the bikes themselves.

Anonymous said...

Giovanni I think its time to start your own blog, your agenda is getting a little too big to fit in the comments.

Anonymous said...

At what point do we stop going after Citibank and redirect our scorn to the bike-sharers, the actual users, the paying customers, the people who are ultimately going to keep this thing afloat with their membership fees. I want to fight the good fight but I am not sure who the enemy is anymore.

Anonymous said...

Very easy to second guess the exact location of stations and criticize start-up logistical issues that was bound to happen with any program of this size, but to rely on and quote the NY Post which is a joke of a newspaper with a clear anti-bikeshare agenda proves nothing. Despite daily articles on bikeshare, the Post has not been able to find one positive thing to say - just like NYGrump and Giovanni

Anonymous said...

A CitiBike made ME late for work too! Another CitiBike stole my roommate's TV. And another CitiBike got my sister pregnant then moved to Florida. Fair warning.

John said...

Is this how people reacted when companies began installing phone lines and digging subways?

Anonymous said...

Wait till it gets hot and humid in a week or two. The honeymoon will be over then. Most of us don't have showers at our office.

Anonymous said...

The NY Post was not always such a joke.

Excerpts from Wikipedia:
"The most famous 19th-century New-York Evening Post editor was the poet and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant. So well respected was the New-York Evening Post under Bryant's editorship, it received praise from the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, in 1864…In 1934, J. David Stern purchased the paper, changed its name to the New York Post, and restored its broadsheet size and liberal perspective….In 1939, Dorothy Schiff purchased the paper….Under Schiff's tenure the Post was devoted to liberalism, supporting trade unions and social welfare…In 1976, Rupert Murdoch bought the Post for US$30 million…."

Unfortunately, all downhill since then - still good for the occasionally funny headline and Page Six of course.

Anonymous said...

you mean like the Second Avenue subway, for which they started digging in 1972 after 50 years of planning? or perhaps for the Water tunnel #3, for which they started digging in the 1970? like that? because everything the city does is just peachy.

Anonymous said...

The government can track you on these CitiBikes, you know? And if you rearrange the letters in CitiBike, you get "drone strike."

Anonymous said...

In addition to the numerous other community responsibilities that I carry in this town - one is to get production companies to and fro in large scale vehicles in order to promote and add revenue to our fair city. Let me tell you attempting to park the rig on the street today while viewing docking stations proved somewhat of an iRritation.
Thinking about it yesterday I figured this is one way for the feds to attempt to get back our stimulus and bailout money. After all if we print paper with no backing it's counterfeiting if they do it they call it a stimulus simply to get those who know no better deeper into debt :(
Watch your back those in the know want your ass

Anonymous said...

I just rode a CitiBike across the Brooklyn Bridge. This isn’t a bike, It’s an SUV on 2 wheels. Can you say heart attack? The seat is wide and spongy like Kim Kardashian's ass (a bonus?) and the handlebars are extra wide like the old banana seat bikes, making them so hard to maneuver going downhill that I almost killed several Japanese tourists coming off the bridge. Otherwise you have to pedal hard, the tires are fat and slow, even when exerting all my energy I could only get up to maybe about 7 mph. I can do 15-20 mph on a nice hybrid. CitiBikes are too slow to survive a New York minute.

Anonymous said...

Someone did a quick calculation that shows the average seat on a CitiBike will be farted into on average 450 times per year. This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'skid marks."

Anonymous said...

To the person that asked about the snow, CitiBike will be responsible to shovel around the docks. The program operates 24/7, 365 days a year.

As for the humidity, dress light and take it easy. Rising a bike requires less energy then a walk. You sit and can coast. Not to mention the wind in your face feels great. The average CitiBike ride is 15-20 minutes. I sweat just standing on a subway platform too.

Anonymous said...

536pm - Could only get up to 7mph? You're either a liar or really out of shape. Also, I found them easy to maneuver; even popped a wheelie.

Anonymous said...

A CitiBike wheelie? Yeah right! Well I just rode one of the new Google CitiBikes, it pedals and steers all by itself, I even took a nap while riding in traffic down the FDR Drive and wound up at Kennedy Airport. Tuned around and was back in the East Village in under half an hour. I'm planning to use one to go down to Miami for the weekend. Beats popping a wheelie any day!

Anonymous said...

1:49 PM,

Rupert Murdoch is an American patriot and I will not accept you besmirching his name.

Anonymous said...

Citibike is year round? I can't wait for the first snow plow to take out a row of these things.

Gojira said...

Well that was even faster than I thought:

Citi Bike Rider Struck By SUV In Manhattan - NY1 - May 31, 2013

Days after the Citi Bike program got underway, a rider using one of the blue bikes was hit by a car in Manhattan Thursday.
Police say the cyclist was riding at MacDougal Street and Houston Street early Thursday afternoon when he tried to beat a light. He was struck by an SUV, which had a green light, according to police.

Police say the rider flew over the hood of the car and hit the windshield. His injuries are not believed to be serious.

Anonymous said...

I notice EV GRieve is boyxotting the accidents that have already started to happen with this albatross program. Yay. Let's unleash thousands of helmetless idiots on the streets in corporate bike facsimiles. Brilliant.

EV Grieve said...

I'll cover a Citi Bikes related accident if it happens in the East Village.

Anonymous said...

According to Citibike blog, there has been 20,000+ trips in first 3 days. 2 accident in 20000+ trips is not bad odds. At one round trip per day, it would take 27 years before an accident.

Of course, those convinced bikeshare is a bad thing will focus on accidents as though bikeshare is an epic disaster.

DrGecko said...

And the disaster continues, with Grieve evidently part of the conspiracy, since there's no other explanation for the lack of accidents in the East Village.

I finally took out a bike for a test spin - went around the block a few times and wound up where I'd started. CITIBIKE GOT ME EXACTLY NOWHERE! So, it's totally useless.

Also, if I'd kept doing that for an hour, they would have charged an arm and a leg, and I wouldn't be able to ride anymore.