Thursday, September 19, 2013

This morning in East Village docking stations without any Citi Bikes



We've heard from a few people who mentioned that several docking stations around the East Village were without any actual Citi Bikes, like the one on East Seventh Street at Avenue A shown at (gulp) 6:18 a.m. (The bike in the photo was out of commission.)

Others mentioned an unusual lack of bikes for the morning hour, when people may be needing them, at 13th and A, Ninth and C, and Second and B.

Meanwhile, a little after 10, a truck toting a stash of Citi Bikes pulled up to Seventh and A ... where there were two immediate takers for bikes...


[Photo by Derek Berg]

26 comments:

shmnyc said...

Citibikes are like taxis at times, with people vying for them. I wonder if we'll start hearing of people arguing/fighting for one?
I've found a pretty reliable station for the morning, but I can't say which one or it won't be reliable any more!

Krikor said...

I saw the truck unloading bikes at the same station yesterday, but it was there around 8:40 am.

ahoy polloi said...

@shmnyc I have seen a couple of instances where folks approach the last remaining citibike and for the most part they have gone OK; fairly courteous. Let's hope it holds.

Oh, and I'll give you $20 for a tip on good stations for morning supply of citibikes. I am guessing it's east of Ave A because 1st Avenue stations are empty before 9am.

Anonymous said...

As they say in Westeros - "Winter is coming". And when it gets here Citibike usage will drop. My only concern is they'll decide to put bikes in storage and cut down the size of the docks due to lower-usage before bringing them out again in the Spring.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's been a problem in the mornings getting a bike. And, in the evening parking. I couldn't dock anywhere in the EV last night around 11, ended up at 2nd Ave and 25th St.

Anonymous said...

I find it amusing that I have an easier time parking my little Fiat in the 'hood than a bike.

Anonymous said...

Winter shminter. Especially with these global warmingfied newfangled NYC winters, you can bike straight through apart from a few weeks in January and February, and even then, the hardier souls with heavier globes and boots will be pedaling merrily along.

IzF said...

I enjoy riding my bike in the winter because there's less amateur bikers out there in my way causing accidents or giving me a heart attack.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that no one has made the observation that both bikers are wearing suits. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Just look at those assholes getting the bikes. So depressing what Alphabet City has turned into. Moving to LA.

Anonymous said...

According to Citibikes own demograhics, the typical Citiot is a white male with 6 figure income.

Looking at that photo, and what I see around town, that's probably one of the only honest stats that Citibike or the DOT ever released.

80,000 subscribers in a city of 8 million. Hmmm.... One Percenters, ya think?

Anonymous said...

First world problems.

Crazy Eddie said...

"a truck toting a stash of Citi Bikes"

I hope this puts to rest the theory that Citi Bikes would reduce the NYC carbon signature. NYC residents using Citi Bikes are not switching from cars or taxies but have moved from public transit or walking. Ditto for tourists in general. The reduction of public transit overcrowding (?) and an overall increase in exercise are good things on their own but the green impact is negligible. BTW, the Metro Bike store on 14th Street between First and Second Avenues has been hammered by Citi Bike due to a major reduction in its rental income. The predicted increase in bike store income due to the purchase of bike accessories has not occurred, witness the lack of helmets on the vast majority of Citi Bike riders. No need to buy locks, inner tubes, pumps, lights, etc., as well.

Anonymous said...

Plus, what are the suits doing going to work after 10 a.m.? I mean, creative types, sure, but suits?! Doesn't Morgan Stanley dock them if they're late? The suits I mean. Not the bikes.

Anonymous said...

What this program is good for I don't know. I see no other benefit other than amateur bicyclists wanting to get around the city. Nothing necessarily wrong with that but I think there was an implication that this program was going to promote a green agenda. It's not. The one thing it is doing is adding more traffic to the streets. There's a sick amount of cyclists now, it looks like an ant colony that's just cluttering the streets. An accident waiting to happen. It's only a matter of time before one of these amateurs gets seriously injured if it hasn't happened already. NYC is not going to suddenly become a bicycle exclusive city. Very likely that will never happen. So adding more bikes to the street just adds more confusion and nothing else.

Giovanni said...

And I thought they shooting a Ralph Lauren print ad, how funny. There's no way these metrosexuals who use the bikes as commuters are renting them in the coming bad weather months in the rain/sleet/snow/ freezing cold, especially wearing those suits or other work clothes, getting drenched or freezing while looking for an empty docking station and showing up late to work dripping wet.

Anyone who has tried biking in the rain or snow in NYC (as I have a few too many times) knows how treacherous and drenching it can be. The food delivery guys usually have to resort to putting on garbage bags to keep warm and dry. Does Ralph Lauren even make garbage bag rain coats?

Unfortunatley the docking problem during good weather days is far from being solved. According to the Citibike maps, this evening there are over 50 completely empty stations around Midtown, the Central Village and Battery Park City, while most of the ones in the East Village are basically full. In the morning this pattern will reverse. The irony is that there are simply too many bikes in the heavy residential areas, which leads to the daily shortage and dock overcrowding problem.

When the Upper East and Upper West sides get their Citibikes, the commuter docking problem will only multiply and there will be nowhere left to park them during the daytime. Unless of course we eliminate most car parking spaces, which seems to be where this is all headed anyway.

These CitiBike growing pain issues are taking a toll on ridership and the program seems to have already peaked--from Mid-August through Mid-September the program's rapid growth has stalled and there is a sudden downward trend in number of daily rides, miles and duration per ride, and the number of new daily, weekly and annual signups has flatlined.

You would think that the returning college student population would have had a positive effect on these trends, but do far no dice. So maybe we have reached the saturation point for this first phase of the rollout. Now is the right time for the glitches to be fixed before the same problems are repeated uptown.

Meanwhile there are not nearly enough regular bike racks anywhere for people who own their own bikes, and every available pole seems to be full these days. Sometimes it's almost as hard parking a regular bike as a CitiBike.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:04,
"white male with 6 figure income"? That's interesting. Where did you get that information? There are no questions about ethnicity nor income when registering.

ahoy polloi said...

Just had to pop in again on this thread: I sometimes commute to work in a suit, and I am not a "metrosexual"; I do not work for Morgan Stanley nor any other i-bank or financial institution. I work for the United Nations Development Programme, part of a team that is helping developing countries and their poorest citizens adapt to climate change. So, you know what they say about making assumptions.

And just because there are trucks to "rebalance" the bike supply doesn't make this programme not green. To complain that a bike programme capable of servicing 0.01% of 8m residents hasn't cut down on carbon emissions is laughable; and to count it as a reason to end it, even more so. You want fewer carbon emissions? Blame Bloomberg for bungling congestion pricing. And to complain that 80,000 more bicycles has thrown a monkey wrench into NYC traffic is probably too ridiculous to seriously address.

So citibike seems like it's an dastardly plan to rid NYC of all cars? To that I say, fantastic! Gas in the US is way too cheap anyway (thanks to govt subsidies to oil cos), so actually I wouldn't prefer to subsidise NYC drivers to pollute my air, thanks.

I don't know if you've checked air pollution levels/types in NYC lately, but a significant chunk of it is due to the nitrogen oxides & particulate matter that are quite pernicious in poorer neighborhoods, along the FDR down here and in the South Bronx. If you don't think less cars, more bikes is a good thing then there isn't much sense that can be talked into you.

Anonymous said...

ahoy polloi-

Whoa there partner. I don't think anybody thinks that less cars in New York is a bad thing and is arguing against it. The reality is that it's *NEVER*, E-VER going to happen, okay? In addition to the day-to-day cluster fuck of traffic, there will always be bridge and tunnel traffic 24/7 from now to eternity. The family from Jersey going to see a Broadway show aren't going to be riding their bikes through the Lincoln Tunnel on their way to their pre-theater meal. Tourists are not going to walk in groups over the GWB to see the sights. So your fantasy of 'less cars more bikes' is just that…a fantasy. Reality dictates that NYC traffic will remain the way it always has. Crowded and a pain in the ass. Adding more people on bikes, most with out helmets, while a nice sweet, and environmentally conscious idea is not without its very real and very immediate faults. You want bike friendly…move to Amsterdam.

ahoy polloi said...

"Reality dictates that NYC traffic will remain the way it always has...You want bike friendly…move to Amsterdam"

Thanks for cutting to the heart of it. Why is Amsterdam bike friendly, anyway? Because of the canals? Because the bike was invented there? Because the Dutch don't have a history of manufacturing cars?

No, it's because they made a decision that that was the type of city they wanted. They dictated reality and not the lazy, cynical other way around. NYC can make the same type of decision and work for it, or we can just sit back and bitch about corporate advertising on a fucking bike station.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:35

From streetsblog 9/18



In a separate study, the Department of Health is working with Citi Bike on a multi-year, longitudinal study of thousands of bike-share users to learn about the effects of the program on their weight and health behaviors.

That study includes demographic information about users. Ginsburgh said last night that Citi Bike users tended to be white, male, and with household incomes in the six figures, though he didn’t have the exact numbers. NYCBS referred us to the Department of Health, which said it was not ready to release this demographic information.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:57,
Thanks. That's interesting. I wouldn't have guess the 6-figure part, but I guess I'm not surprised either.

Anonymous said...

Amsterdam has 1/10 the population of NYC, is about 1/6th the size of NYC has a ton of narrow ancient streets, foot bridges and canals. So nice try but a poor comparison.
NYC is huge as are it's suburbs. We need to make sure that all traffic moves through the city safely and efficiently- whether it is people on bikes, cars or on foot. Stop this ridiculous judgment of who should be driving or biking- biking has very limited applications- if you don't see that, I don't know what to tell you- maybe you should head up to the Bronx, or out to Queens and see how big the city is and how little transit options they have outside of your little enclave.
Or try getting laundry or groceries done when the nearest store is a couple of miles away.
NYC has always had cars and traffic- the only difference now are silly people like you who want NYC to be some bucolic country village. I drive- my friends who serve at the cafes, restaurants and hotels drive too. We live far away and come here to serve people like you who bitch and moan about non-existent problems. How sad for you that you can't handle NYC as it is now, a bustling city for all, not a gated community that only serves your small minded needs.

Anonymous said...

Citibikes make the streets dangerous. Unlike cars, the bikers ignore red lights in large groups making it dangerous to cross the street. And, also unlike cars, they go up on the sidewalks and cut through people in ways cars are unable to do. Given they are harder to see at times than cars are its also easier to be hit by these bikes. Bring on winter.

Anonymous said...

"80,000 subscribers in a city of 8 million. Hmmm.... One Percenters, ya think?"

This has to be one of the dumbest things I've read on the internet (and I read Youtube comments).

Are you so far detached from reality that you think 1%-ers ride Citibikes to work? Seriously, I'm curious. Do you believe this to be true?

Jill said...

Anon 7:35am -- demographics such as income, net worth, age, home value, marital status, whether you own a cat, give to charity, etc are easily available from several different data companies for a small fee when you have a list of names and addresses.