Category Archives: citibike

NYC Now #1 Cycling City in US

At a press conference today alongside the new Lafayette Street protected bike lane, NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and Bicycling Magazine’s Bill Strickland announced that New York City is now the top city for biking in the United States. 

From the DOT press release:

“New Yorkers love to cycle and they bring an energy and passion that only this city can produce. I want to thank the past leadership at DOT and our current bike lane innovators who helped make New York the best biking city in the U.S.” – DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg

See photos of the event below, with the NYU Rudin Center’s Puck Building office in the background. Photos by Nolan Levenson.

Dani Simons (Citi Bike) presenting at the Citi Bike Data Showcase on May 28, 2014

Recap and Photos: Citi Bike Data Showcase

Last night’s Citi Bike Data Showcase brought a full, fun crowd to talk about visualizations, apps and nuances of Citi Bike use and analysis. Hosted by the Rudin Center and emceed by Noel Hidalgo of BetaNYC, the event featured several brief talks:

  • Dani Simons, Director of Marketing at NYC Bike Share, showed how the organization uses its data to manage bike fleets and where the system expansion may occur going forward.
  • Jeff Ferzoco (linepointpath) and Alex Chohlas-Wood (NYU CUSP) discussed their upcoming project of calculating bike salmoning.
  • Aaron Fraint (Hunter College) showed his favorite coding tools for analysis and visualization, including some processes that can take three days to complete.  (link)
  • Ben Wellington (I Quant NY/Pratt) demonstrated the process of map creation using Citi Bike and NYC data with free coding tools.
  • Sarah Kaufman (NYU Rudin Center) discussed gender, Citi Bike, and the modern freedoms reflective of women’s discovery of pantaloons.
  • Amy Wu and Luke Stern (SVA) redesigning Citi Bike’s checkout and kiosk process

Frank Hebbert (Open Plans) closed out the event by showcasing his new #bikestoday tool, which automatically counts bikes riding past.

See event photos below (by Jeff Ferzoco).

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Citi Bike and Gender

By Sarah Kaufman; Map by Jeff Ferzoco

As the city enters a long-awaited spring and the bikes emerge, so too might a pattern: according to Citi Bike’s public data, men are riding more – far more – than women, averaging three times more rides. Of subscriber-based rides in July through December 2013, men took 76.3% of all trips, and women 23.7%. What is the cause of this disparity, and how can it be resolved?

Women typically attribute reduced cycling numbers to safety among car traffic, and considering Citi Bike’s distribution across some of the most congested parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, lower female participation makes sense. Further analysis of the gender divide by bike share station shows that bike stations in Manhattan are predominantly used by men, while Brooklyn stations are more proportionately popular among women. Of the top ten stations for each gender, women preferred the Brooklyn residential neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, while men were overwhelmingly represented in bustling midtown Manhattan. Women also chose stations in areas with fewer lanes of traffic, more limited truck traffic, fewer collision-based cyclist injuries in recent memory, and in some cases, fast access to bridge entrances; men most often chose stations with more traffic, some truck traffic, some collision-based cyclist injuries, and, typically, connectivity to major transit hubs.

See the map below to explore these stations:

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The station with the highest proportion of women, only 37.9%, is Station 266, the East Village’s 8th Street and Avenue D location. Although there is no dedicated bike lane on that block, the area has limited transit access, quieter traffic, and easy access to the tranquil East River waterfront and bridges.

The numbers of women bikers are universally important, since they teach us which locations are safe (and perceived to be). Station 266’s relative diversity can teach us a few things about biking in New York City: When it is (and feels) safe, people will bike as a last-mile transit solution, a connector to parks and recreation, and as a lifeline for improved job access from a distant location (ask an Avenue D resident if they would consider working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a treacherous commute by transit; biking would essentially halve the travel time).

Women have a long favorable history with biking. In the 1890s, women discovered the bicycle as the best means of personal mobility, providing exercise, freedom from reliance on men for transportation, and reform of requirements for wearing unwieldy undergarments. According to suffragist Susan B. Anthony, biking had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” (source)

In 2014, a safe, active travel mode that complements transit is important for all New Yorkers, and as the system expands farther into the city’s residential reaches of Brooklyn, Queens and uptown Manhattan, we will likely see a more balanced use of the system. By comparison, Washington, DC’s Capital Bikeshare system extends into multiple lower-traffic residential areas like Clinton Hill, and the subscriber rate is a more balanced 55% male, 45% female. (source)

Removing the barriers to cycling will universalize biking’s appeal, and bike share will become a truly mature transportation mode integrated into NYC’s fabric of mobility.

Data note: Station proportions were calculated by number of trip starts by subscribers, the only users for whom gender data is available.

P.S. Enjoy data uses like the one here? Be sure to join us for the Citi Bike data showcase night on May 28.

Citi Bike Takes New York on “The Policy Shop”

Last week, researchers Lily Gordon-Koven and Nolan Levenson took a ride with James Leyba MUP ’15 to discuss Citi Bike on Wagner’s podcast “The Policy Shop.” The interview was conducted while riding (during stops for safety, of course!). You can check it out here.

Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop
Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop
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48 Hours of Citi Bike

See the video below, designed by Sarah Kaufman of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation with Jeff Ferzoco of linepointpath and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, showing 48 hours in the life of Citi Bike:

Note that subscribers concentrate around economic and residential hubs like East Midtown, Wall Street and the East Village and Fort Greene, while customers use Citi Bike near tourist hotspots: the bases of the Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Central Park South, indicating that many single-use subscribers are, in fact, tourists. Subscribers and customers favor different locations, though Citi Bike appeals to both New Yorkers and visitors.

Users are encouraged to click around the map to explore Citi Bike travels during September, and to post findings to the NYU Rudin Center on Twitter @NYURudin.

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Citi Bike and “Reactionary Biking”

We at the NYU Rudin Center got an early look at Citi Bike’s new trip data and found exciting snippets, such as where it’s clear that New Yorkers hopped off delayed subways and onto bikes, transferred from ferries, or attended events at Barclays Center. (Check out our video of 48 hours in the life of Citi Bike, now live on the NYTimes website.)

 In fact, for the month of September, there is evidence of “reactionary biking,” in which subway riders encountering delays likely switched modes to bike share for that trip. The chart below demonstrates a moderate correlation between subway delays and Citi Bike usage throughout September: when delays increase, so does bike share ridership.

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Reactionary biking is indicated during particular instances: for example, on September 17th at 7:45 a.m., the MTA sent an alert that the 2/3 train was delayed at Wall Street, in the heart of Citi Bike’s stations. In the half hour surrounding this alert, seventeen rides were recorded along the 2/3 route within four stops of the Wall Street Station; they were not repeated at the same time the following day. The increased rides on days heavy with delays, coupled with September’s pleasant weather (with temperatures ranging from 59 to 76 on average), lead to the conclusion that New Yorkers are avoiding or escaping transit delays by taking to bike share. As Citi Bike expands across New York City, it will provide a more comprehensive alternative to delayed transit.

Citi Bike has become an important mode in New York’s diverse transportation landscape, both as a method of active transport and an essential connection to the transit network; we are eager to analyze this data to understand its role in New York-area mobility.

 

Data notes:

  • The chart accounts for unplanned service changes only; it does not include planned weeknight and weekend service diversions (and their occasional cancelations) relating to construction work.
  •  Dates recorded are for bike trip starts only; trips ending on subsequent days are recorded on the days on which the trips started.
Proximity To Subway

Report: Citi Bike Takes New York

Why does Citi Bike work? New York’s densely populated center already encourages residents, workers, and tourists to walk or take transit to get around the city. New York City, famed for its density and walkability, lends itself well to a tightly knit web of bike share stations. There are almost 20 stations per square mile within its service area, and almost 3/4 of its stations are within walking distance of a subway entrance.

Check out the report here.  Download here.

Here’s an example of what you’ll see in the report:

Distance from Subway Entrance
Citi Bike Station Distance from Subway Entrance
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Why is Citi Bike So Successful?

By Lily Gordon-Koven

In its first six months of operation, Citi Bike riders took more than 6 million trips from bases in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and by January, nearly 100,000 enthusiasts became annual members. Nearly one year in, Grand Central has become the busiest area in both mornings and evenings. The system is used by both New Yorkers and tourists alike. At the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, we’ve been observing the system closely and have conducted the first academic investigation into Citi Bike’s use.

One marker of success: Even as the city weathers one of the worst winters in recent memory, Citi Bikers continue to pedal through slush and ice every day. On January 7, the coldest day on record in over a hundred years in New York City, hearty New Yorkers took nearly 7,000 trips on Citi Bike. The system’s continued use through the winter months, despite snowed-in stations and treacherous riding conditions, is a strong indicator that Citi Bike is not just a passing trend or summer pastime.

Our analysis shows that the key ingredients of Citi Bike’s success are urban density and proximity to mass transit, two of New York’s most valuable urban assets. Other bike share systems in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC (as well as other American cities) move plenty of riders, but none do so with the same scale and intensity of Citi Bike.

This is, of course, due in part of New York’s population size and tightly knit street grid, but it’s also about something else – connections. Citi Bike thrives in New York because of the many ways it connects to other modes New Yorkers use everyday – subways, buses, taxis, commuter rail, ferries, and their feet.

We have mapped the busiest stations and their connections to the City’s economic and transit hubs, including the Financial District, Midtown, and Downtown Brooklyn. While Citi Bike at this time covers a limited portion of the city, its connections to transit make it accessible for New Yorkers from all five boroughs and commuters from the entire region.

The busiest stations are at Grand Central and Astor Place in the mornings and Grand Central and 17th and Broadway in the evenings.

Click on the map below to explore the busiest origin and destination stations during morning and evening rush hours.

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Our forthcoming report maps out exactly how Citi Bike has successfully become a part of the transportation system in New York. The system isn’t just for tourists or leisure riders; it has become an integral part of the transportation network.

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NYU Rudin CitiBike Presentation at TRB

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NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss and Research Assistants Lily Gordon-Koven and Nolan Levenson presented new findings on CitiBike at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January.

Findings will be compiled into a post on this site, including interactive maps. A preview is at left, showing most active journey start stations – mostly around the city’s transit hubs. Check back for a full writeup this week.