Citi Bike Usage and the Future of the Program

NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management released a study today entitledCiti Bike, What Current Use and Activity Suggests for the Future of the Program,” which takes stock of the system’s strengths and areas for growth as policymakers determine the City’s role in bringing Citi Bike to all five boroughs.

Key findings include:

  • Citi Bike is most heavily used in Manhattan- 83% of September trips started & ended there, with concentration around major transportation networks. If the system expands to the outer boroughs ridership is expected to be lower, speaking to the need for additional private or public financing— but will likely still primarily transport New Yorkers to commercial centers and other forms of transportation like buses and subways.
  • The majority of Citi Bike trips are short in both time and distance; 98% lasted under 45 minutes and 48% lasted under ten minutes— highlighting the importance of station density to match how people are using the system.
  • Only 112 stations (18%) are located in Zip Codes that have median household incomes of less than $50,000—reinforcing the importance of improving bike equity and access throughout the system.

The paper, published by Sarah M. Kaufman and Jenny O’Connell, is the result of an open forum on the status of Citi Bike hosted at the Rudin Center in November of 2016.  Expert speakers included Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee; Tracey Capers (Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation/BSRC); Elena Conte (Pratt Center for Community Development); and Paul Steely White (Transportation Alternatives).  NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Director Mitchell L. Moss moderated.

The panelists agreed that Citi Bike provided a valuable transportation service, and alternative funding methods would be necessary to support expansion to a five-borough Citi Bike network.

Download the report here [pdf].

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