Saturday, April 19, 2014

Choosing Citi Bike

Choosing Citi Bike by Nicole Gelinas, City Journal 18 April 2014

More than 100,000 people have signed up for memberships since Citi Bike launched last Memorial Day. For an annual fee of $95, they can “undock” a bike at any one of 332 stations in Manhattan and northern Brooklyn and take a 45-minute trip. So far, New Yorkers and visitors have taken 7 million trips. But the company that runs the program, a division of Alta Bicycle Share, has made some missteps. As the Wall Street Journal reported in March, Alta invested in glitchy software, making it hard for casual users to buy daily passes. The company also misjudged demand. Because people use the bikes to commute, docks in mostly residential areas empty out in the morning, while docks in Midtown and downtown fill up. Last October, Alta moved 1,940 bikes around every day. There simply aren’t enough bikes and bike docks to meet current demand.