Home Public Transit Policy Report: Bike share may rescue straphangers stranded by Sandy repairs

Report: Bike share may rescue straphangers stranded by Sandy repairs

by Benjamin Kabak

A full rack of CitiBikes in Fort Greene. The program could help areas that have to suffer through Sandy-related subway repairs. (Photo via Second Ave. Sagas on Instagram)

For New Yorkers and the MTA, an inconvenient truth is looming ever larger. On August 3, the R train’s Montague Tube will close for 14 months as MTA contractors rebuild the tunnel from the ground up in order to repair damage from Sandy. Meanwhile, in three weeks, the G train tunnel will begin its summer of shutdowns, and that work is set to stretch into next year. We’re only just getting started.

Ultimately, there’s an end in sight for this inconvenience, but it’s years into the future. The L train’s Canarsie Tube has run into problems lately, and other East River crossings are not well off. It’s easy to close the R train as nearby stations and more reliable subway lines provide redundancies, but as we’ll see in a few weeks, nearly every other train line is tougher to replace. The G train, in particular, poses some problems as it is the only subway link between Long Island City and Brooklyn that doesn’t involve a circuitous trip through Manhattan.

As the MTA gears up for the G train shutdowns and extended service changes, the agency is trying to assess alternate service. Greenpointers are resigned to the fate of a shuttle bus, but politicians are already angling for a different solution. As ridership north of Nassau Ave. isn’t overwhelming, the latest craze sweeping the city’s transportation system could help. The solution may lie in bike share.

I haven’t written too much about Citi Bike since the program started a few weeks ago, but last May, I examined how it can solve the first mile/last mile problem. With the successful launch of Citi Bikes, New York’s officials have called upon anyone listening to fund an expansion into areas impacted by Sandy, and the Daily News reports that the MTA may oblige. We could have MTA bikes soon enough.

Pete Donohue has the story:

The first expansion of Citi Bike could be to Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that are facing extensive subway outages to allow post-Sandy repairs on the G train.

MTA and Bloomberg administration officials are exploring an accelerated Citi Bike expansion to Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint, Brooklyn, sources said. The possibility of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority picking up some or all of the cost is one focus of the talks, sources said.

“It’s an active discussion,” a transit source said. “We recognize the G train serves an area without other subway options.”

Details are, of course, scarce at this early stage, but Donohue notes that Greenpoint and Long Island City were originally part of the initial bike share roll out before Sandy destroyed some of the equipment. Still, this is a nearly ideal situation for the area. Since ridership at these G train stations isn’t overwhelming, bike share could make a significant dent in bridging the gap between Court Sq. and Nassau Ave. It is, in fact, that first mile/last mile problem laid bare for all to see.

A MTA-funded portion of bike share would raise a number of questions — including those surrounding its future once the Greenpoint Tube is repaired and branding discussions — but these are problems that can be overcome. Already areas of the city without bike share are clamoring for it, and with numerous transit shutdowns on tap, it’s time to ramp up expansion.

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Miles Bader June 18, 2013 - 2:48 am

This would be exactly the sort of flexible thinking the MTA needs to do more of…

Bolwerk June 18, 2013 - 11:15 am

Here’s more of it: Greenpoint needs a second subway line and/or some light rail lines crisscrossing it. But the pols who are whining now never even thought of that.

Eric Brasure June 18, 2013 - 11:42 am

Greenpoint doesn’t need a second subway line. And the bus service in Greenpoint is fairly good and could be made better by figuring out how to get traffic on Manhattan Avenue moving more quickly and better spacing of bus stops.

Bolwerk June 18, 2013 - 11:00 pm

This is exactly the sort of attitude that keeps New York transit mediocre. Though I guess it’s actually North Brooklyn that needs more subway services, but logically they would service Greenpoint somehow.

JJ June 19, 2013 - 9:46 am

Type of answer from a real TROLL

Alon Levy June 19, 2013 - 2:54 pm

No, Greenpoint really doesn’t need a second subway line. Neither is North Brooklyn. The J/M/Z is hilariously underused, the L would be magically decongested if they extended it one stop to the west to Chelsea Piers and built a higher-capacity terminal there, and the G needs a transfer to the J/M/Z. Full subway lines are expensive and other parts of the cities need them a lot more *cough* Utica *cough*.

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 1:10 pm

AGREED! As you can probably tell, I live in Ridgewood, Queens. I’ve lived here going on twelve years, and was a frequent visitor for several years before. And in all that time, every summer, the (M) train has been out of service practically every other weekend. Now that Citi Bike is available – and there’s talk of using it to supplement the (G) – it would be a perfect fit out here.

Tower18 June 18, 2013 - 2:12 pm

I would be surprised if the M isn’t a full-time route within 5 years. 6th Av and Queens Blvd could use the extra service, but the growth in ridership along the M in Brooklyn and Ridgewood is gonna necessitate it.

Tower18 June 18, 2013 - 2:14 pm

Er, by full-time, I mean runs on weekends. It can probably stay a shuttle late nights, I’m afraid.

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 4:01 pm


Perfect argument, though, for big old Citi Bike docking station at the Ridgewood Intermodal Terminal, and a bunch of other stations studded all around the neighborhood.

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 3:59 pm

It would be nice!

I wonder if they would take it out of weekend service along the Myrtle Ave. line so often in the summer if the (M) ran all the way into Manhattan.

Larry Littlefield June 18, 2013 - 8:53 am

“Bike share may rescue straphangers stranded by Sandy repairs” today.

And from the redestruction of the system due to deferred maintenance after Generation Greed finishes bankrupting it in the future.

It will be ever more important to be able to ride a bike, if not a Citibike then your own bike, to a different station if your subway line shuts down or becomes unreliable.

Even absent disaster or decline, bicycles could turn non-subway neighborhoods into subway neighborhoods, because bicycles give you three times the range in the same amount of time relative to walking.

Here is what you find at the end of the line in other countries.


Miles Bader June 18, 2013 - 9:58 am

Of course, once the ball starts rolling… let’s hope they’re prepared…

Bike parking around here is a serious issue: there’s many many thousands of bike parking places around the closest station my house, and they keep building more, stuffing them into every nook and cranny (something bike parking is particularly suited to!), building multi-story bike garages, underground bike parking, etc, but even so they can’t really keep up with the demand, with bike parking overflowing onto sidewalks everywhere there’s an empty spot.

Bike parking is vastly more efficient and cheaper than car parking, but it’s still something that takes resources and political will to deal with properly…

Bill June 18, 2013 - 9:01 am

I’m a Greenpointer and I’ve been clamoring for this since before the G shutdown was announced.

I’ll bet you a case of Brooklyn Lager that if CitiBike stations are placed at Nassau Av. (G), Greenpoint Av. (G), Bedford Av. (L), and Vernon-Jackson (7), they will instantly be in the top 10 most popular stations in the CitiBike network and will remain so after the G shutdowns are complete.

Kai B June 18, 2013 - 1:40 pm

Not to mention there is a ton of room directly west of the Nassau Ave end of Nassau Ave. They were already plans for 37 or so bikes on Bedford right right by the park entrance. Since Bedford is overly wide at that point, you could easily double that number.

John-2 June 18, 2013 - 9:08 am

It is an option for the able-bodied between the sections of the G, though just sheer numbers is going to make it less viable come the day that the MTA finally does have to do an extended shutdown of the 14th Street tunnel for repairs (that’s when they need to start 24/7 M service via Sixth Avenue, even if the route’s cut back to 57th-Sxith at night, and add that Metrocard transfer at Broadway). There’s just no way to get enough bikes and racks put in at the station stops along the L, G and J/M/Z to deal with the number of people using the 14th Street tube, while the G’s traffic between Nassau and Court Square is still manageable.

llqbtt June 18, 2013 - 9:28 am

MTA Bike, a wholly owned subsidiary of the M…T…A….itself wholly owned by Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Skelos & Mr. Silver.



‘Bikes save MTA’

Train Operators, Conductors, Bus Operators & Token Booth Clerks all face 1 day/week furloughs because of success of MTA Bike!

So this is what it’s come to. Years of planning neglect and lack of a true contingency plan (since I guess it’s now acknowledged that buses stink as an alternative).

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 9:50 am

In my opinion, the biggest problem with Citi Bike is the pricing model. The cheapest option is “Unlimited 30 minute trips”, quite the oxymoron, for 24 hours, coming in at $10. I’ve only seen maybe 1 or 2 people using these bikes per day and whenever you pass a rack, they’re 95% full, waiting for passengers that aren’t coming.

For the 7 day unlimited pass to break even compared to the subway you’d have to use the bikes daily, and for the cost of the annual pass you might as well buy a bike, though I guess not needing to store it at home might justify the price for some people.

In order to get more ridership there needs to be a single ride option that’s on par with mass transit pricing, maybe $2 or $3 for a single 30 minute ride.

The current pricing model only seems feasible for tourists daring enough to get around by bike in an unfamiliar city.

Benjamin Kabak June 18, 2013 - 9:54 am

You’ve got the pricing wrong. It’s $95 for a year’s pass of unlimited (30-minute-per-ride) usage. That’s cheaper than one single monthly Metrocard.

JJJJ June 18, 2013 - 9:55 am

45 minutes with an annual pass actually

Larry Littlefield June 18, 2013 - 10:00 am


And here is another comparison. In one of the little luxuries I allow myself, I pay $20 per month to lock my bike in a garage near work. So I don’t have to disassemble the thing every day to prevent it from being robbed, particularly valuable in the cold of winter when I used to have to take off my gloves and grab cold steel.

That’s $240 per year. Plus all the money I pay for bike maintenance, and the cost of the bike itself. Compared with $95 per year for Citibike.

The biggest beneficiaries are not tourists. They are people coming in via commuter railroad, express bus and ferry, who can get from the terminals to their destination via Citibike.

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 10:03 am

Even then, you can still get a budget bike for around that price, and I doubt the CitiBikes are the greatest quality bikes in the world. A subway ride is justifiably worth more over longer distances.


Benjamin Kabak June 18, 2013 - 10:06 am

That’s not at all the point though.

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 10:17 am

I’m not saying they couldn’t be beneficial for people in Sandy affected areas. The problem is the vast majority of people covered by the service even after an expansion are not Sandy affected. But in order for the program to be a real success, shouldn’t a higher utilization rate across the board be a priority, not just in certain parts of Brooklyn? I feel like most people up for paying $95 a year would already have a bike, because you can get a bike for that price or a bit more and keep it after the first year passes.

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 10:24 am

I’ll concede that the $95 annual option is good for residents after seeing people’s cases for convenience, but the short term options still suck. I have a temporary job for 3 months in Manhattan commuting from NJ. I’d actually really like to use CitiBike sometimes on my way home but the short term options are so expensive it would be cheaper to take the subway. So instead, I’ll keep taking the train or walking after work, passing by the underutilized citibikes on my way.

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 10:40 am

Also there are probably a lot of people who’ve never ridden a bike in New York or only for leisure purposes. $95 is a big investment for something you might discover is not for you. $10 is also an unsettling amount to pay as a trial. Personally I’d feel like a moron if I got the 1 day pass and then didn’t like it, but for $2-3 I’d say why not.

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 12:59 pm

As I noted before, I do agree there should be a dirt cheap one ride option. That said, $10 for an unlimited number of 30 minute rides during the course of a day isn’t totally unreasonable. I think it’s meant to be a gateway drug, little taste, little taste. You ride once or twice for $10 and, when you realize how useful it can be, you sign up for the yearly membership, which is a MUCH better deal. But $10 – that’s what? Lunch? My advice is pack a brownbag lunch one day and give it a whirl. If it’s not for you, well, you’re not out too much. If it is, others have already shown how even for just three months’ use, an annual membership could actually work for you.

SEAN June 18, 2013 - 2:05 pm

It would make more sence to me to charge by the hour or day & not by the half hour. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing? Also consider the ability of the user when pricing time.

One side effect of this program may require office & residential buildings to make room for bicycle facilities. Some buildings have already done so, but this maybe the push to encourage further expantion of such programs.

john b June 18, 2013 - 3:43 pm

they do charge by the day. there is no hourly charge until you exceed the 30 minute time limit. the $10 is for unlimited RIDES of up to 30 minutes for the day. if you needed the bike for a longer period of time you just dock it in a station and borrow another.

Matthias June 19, 2013 - 10:47 am

Bikeshare is not the same as an hourly rental. They are for frequent short trips. If you want to rent a bike by the hour, there is Bike and Roll.

Andrew June 18, 2013 - 9:47 pm

I agree. The $95 annual membership option is an absolute bargain for anybody who uses the system even semi-regularly. The $10 daily option is quite pricey in comparison, and that there’s no cheaper option for somebody who only wants one or two rides is absurd. And to add insult to injury, the base rental period is 50% longer and the overage charges are significantly lower for annual members.

Miles Bader June 18, 2013 - 10:11 am

Even then, you can still get a budget bike for around that price

It doesn’t matter, they are different things. A bike-share bike is something you can forget about once you’re done riding, and is available much of the time even if you didn’t ride your bike somewhere. Those are often huge conveniences.

Of course owning your own bike has its own advantages, but bike-share bikes and owned bikes really aren’t in competition so much, rather they’re complimentary parts of a shared bike ecosystem.

Andrew June 18, 2013 - 9:49 pm

Bike share is like a taxi. Just as plenty of car owners find reasons to ride taxis, plenty of bike owners find reasons to use bike share.

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 12:53 pm

The bikes that you’re linking to, the ones that aren’t for children, are, well, TERRIBLE.

Remember: Citi Bike ISN’T a replacement for a private bike. I have two bikes myself and I’m thinking about getting another one or two, yet I still have an annual Citi Bike membership. All these bikes serve different purposes.

Think of it this way: maybe you own a car but sometimes it makes sense to take a cab. That’s what Citi Bike is all about.

JJJJ June 18, 2013 - 9:55 am

Citibikes are too popular, nobody rides them

Miles Bader June 18, 2013 - 10:09 am

Even then, you can still get a budget bike for around that price

It doesn’t matter, they are different things. A bike-share bike is something you can forget about once you’re done riding, and is available much of the time even if you didn’t ride your bike somewhere. Those are often huge conveniences.

Of course owning your own bike has its own advantages, but bike-share bikes and owned bikes really aren’t in competition so much, rather they’re complimentary parts of a shared bike ecosystem.

gentleman June 18, 2013 - 10:12 am

You hit the nail on the head that the two short-term options are for tourists, but you’re leaving out the $95 annual option, which is a tremendous deal for residents.

If you replace three metro card swipes per month or maybe one short cab ride per month with bike share trips, you’re breaking even. As another hypothetical situation, if someone now purchased monthly metro card passes, and rides twice a day every day (or something approximating that), they could swap out a third of their subway trips for citi bike trips and start buying a pay-per-ride card, and they would save money.

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 10:25 am

I’ll concede that the $95 annual option is good for residents after seeing everyone’s cases for convenience, but yea, the short term options still suck. I have a temporary job for 3 months in Manhattan commuting from NJ. I’d actually really like to use CitiBike sometimes on my way home but the short term options are so expensive it would be cheaper to take the subway. So instead, I’ll keep taking the train or walking after work, passing by the underutilized citibikes on my way.

Joseph Steindam June 18, 2013 - 10:39 am

It would be helpful if you didn’t double post your comments, we can read what you wrote earlier.

To be fair, I do not know your full commute, so it is tough to say whether or not Citibike makes sense for you. But if your option is riding the subway or taking Citibike, consider the economics. Even if you won’t be commuting into Manhattan for a whole year, the $95 option isn’t a bad deal. First, to get the weekly option for 3 months would cost you around $400, so if you were truly interesting in using Citibike, the annual option is better already. It doesn’t actually matter that you don’t intend to use for the following 9 months, you’ve saved money instead of getting the weekly memberships. If you’re instead taking the subway, the annual option is less than the cost of a monthly unlimited, and less than the purchase of two $50 dollar metrocards, which would give you the 40 rides most work commuters need in a month, plus a few extra rides. So again, the annual membership to Citibike is actually better than the monthly means of commuting by subway. I think you’re focusing on the fact that 9 months of membership could go unused, despite the fact that you will have already reaped the savings of reduced transit costs in the three months you need to commute in Manhattan.

Joseph Steindam June 18, 2013 - 10:41 am

And sorry for calling you out on repeating posts when I repeated myself a couple of times above. Didn’t mean to repeat the point of leaving the membership unused for the last 9 months.

Anthony June 18, 2013 - 10:50 am

While that’s true, as I mentioned above I don’t know whether using a bike to commute is something I’d like to do. The NY part of my commute is Port Authority 32nd St & Park Ave.

I don’t want to pay $95 without knowing if I’ll get use out of it. $10 to try it is also a high barrier to entry for someone who’s never ridden a bike in NYC. I don’t want to pay for it and regret it if I hate it. I think a lot of other people are hesitant to try CitiBike for the same 2 reasons.

Joseph Steindam June 18, 2013 - 11:04 am

At the very least I do understand that hesitation of trying out Citibike for a day. It is a large cost relative to the likely usage for a day, and while I used Citibike, I borrowed a friends annual key to try it out. I don’t have any account with Citibike, mostly because I live beyond the Citibike coverage, and while my job is in the Citibike area, most of my subway trips start or end beyond the coverage area. So I haven’t found justification for it just yet. When it reaches my neighborhood, hopefully in the next phase, I will likely sign up.

Larry Littlefield June 18, 2013 - 12:44 pm

“The NY part of my commute is Port Authority 32nd St & Park Ave.”

Take it from someone who tried bike transportation relatively late in life, and wishes he had done it sooner. Try it you’ll like it. Do a weekly next week.

john b June 18, 2013 - 11:00 am

over 3 months you need only replace 4 subway rides a week to break even. that doesn’t seem difficult.

i use citibank because i hate to pay a path fare and an mta fare when i can just ride the 16 blocks.

while the bike may appear “underutilized” in your anecdote you can check online and you’ll see that many stations are almost empty for long periods of the day due to high demand.

it would be interesting to see if a monthly option is added eventually, but since the yearly fee is lower than a monthly metrocard i doubt it.

Andrew June 18, 2013 - 9:50 pm

What about residents who only want to take a few rides per year?

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 12:41 pm

I agree with you that there should probably be a $2-$3 (or maybe $5) single trip option. If you’re 100% sure you’re only going to make one trip on a given day, especially if it’s only a mile or two, the $10 unlimited trips daily pass is a little much. Not outrageous but enough so it would give me pause. But I think they’re trying to keep it simple. There have apparently already been complaints that navigating all the payment screens at the kiosks for daily and weekly memberships is too complicated. (I have an annual membership with the accompanying key so I don’t have to muck about with all that. Although when I rode the Capital BikeShare in Washington, DC, yeah, it took a few minutes to figure out.) I think it’s pretty clear that the price structure is being set up to shunt as many people as possible into yearly memberships. Ten dollars for an unlimited number of 30 minute rides is an okay deal. Twenty-five dollars for a week’s worth is pretty good. But $95 for a year’s worth of unlimited 45 minute rides is one of the best deals in the city. Even for those of us who don’t live in covered areas but whose work or recreation take us there it’s still a good deal. I live out in Queens but I’ve still ridden the Citi Bike dozens of times since day one.

As for the tourists: t’s not really set up for them, at least not for leisurely joy riding. The requirement that you stop every so often and get a new bike, or pay large overage fees kind of makes the Citi Bike not attractive for tourism. (I made that mistake in DC and ended up paying $30 for about two hours o rental!) If you’re visiting and you want to ride up the Greenway all day there are plenty of shops to rent you a bike.

Ridgewoodian June 18, 2013 - 12:49 pm

I’m not sure where you’re walking around or when but since the bike share launched I’m always seeing the Citi Bikes in lower Manhattan. And while I’ve yet to encounter a completely empty station when I’ve wanted to get a bike, I’ve encountered plenty that were ALMOST empty – indicating that others before me had taken bikes from them. Your observations are yours and mine are mine and they’re both useful only so much, but the ridership data that the DOT has been reporting – 40,000+ annual memberships sold, almost 300,000 individual trips, almost 800,000 miles ridden – seems to indicate that this has been a VERY popular program thus far.

Joe June 18, 2013 - 3:07 pm

Yeah, it was a bit slow to pick up, but I see people riding them all the time now. I haven’t even gotten my membership “key” yet, because they’ve been backordered.

NB, I also own a regular bike which I sometimes commute with, sometimes do fun weekend trips with. I intend to continue to use my regular bike for longer distances, but CitiBike is really convenient for quick one-way errands or on days when I don’t have my bike with me.

Plus it makes a good “last mile” option from transit to destination—lord knows carrying a bike on the NYC subway is not a pleasant experience for anyone involved, and sometimes I just don’t feel like biking the whole 6 miles or over the bridge or whatever.

MS June 18, 2013 - 3:14 pm

The pricing is definitely encouraging long-term use (a year = 10 days) — compare that with London (a year = 45 days, and a day is only $3.20):


But as a new concept, many people who might try it for $3.20 won’t for $10 (I am one of them), so perhaps introductory pricing would make sense for the next few months. Or give a discount for the first few uses per credit card.

Or perhaps they have intentionally priced it this way to keep usage in check during a break-in period for the software, hardware, bikes, and locations (e.g. after introduction, London quickly found themselves with a trucking problem — moving bikes from AM destinations to AM origins, and then the reverse in the PM).

John June 18, 2013 - 5:01 pm

If you want CitiBike in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, sign the petiton!

JJJJ June 18, 2013 - 7:04 pm

I completely agree that $10 for a day is an outrage. Should be more like Paris….$1.50.

That being said, they COULD set it up where kiosks charge different day rates.

Get a day pass in Manhattan? $7 (10 is an insult).
Get a day pass in Queens? $3

One has the tourist “tax”, one doesnt.

Citibike should also introduce the monthly option other cities have.

They should also do what DC does…. a daily rate for residents. Ie, if youre the type that might just use it once a month, you can get a key and whenever you use it you get charged a discounted rate for the day (and bypass the kiosk).

As for the whole ownership thing….

You pay to never have to worry about thefts, locks, or lights. Youre paying to never have to inflate a tire, adjust a brake, or deal with a mechanic. You’re paying to be able to go on one way trips (and maybe take the subway home if it starts to rain). And yes, they ride smoother than a $100 bike…..these things do cost $800 each after all.

Andrew June 18, 2013 - 9:53 pm

Manhattan has 1.6 million residents – and a large number of outer borough residents work in Manhattan. Why do you assume that anybody getting a day pass in Manhattan is a tourist?

JJJJ June 18, 2013 - 11:28 pm

Citibike does. Hence the $10 price.

And if you live outside Manhattan, but spend 5 days a week in Manhattan….get an annual pass?

Ridgewoodian June 19, 2013 - 12:53 am

I’m not so sure that the daily price is actually aimed at tourists. It’s certainly not aimed at anyone who wants to bike around for a leisurely ride. THAT would be Bike & Roll and other rental businesses.

No, what it seems to be aimed at is the taxi taker – whether that person is a resident or an out-of-towner makes little difference. I seldom take cabs myself but when I do I don’t usually escape for less than $15 or $20 dollars. And here’s the kicker – most of the trips aren’t all that far. Most of them could be done nearly as quickly by bike. Maybe even MORE quickly, depending on traffic. So if you think of Citi Bike replacing the occasional cab trip $10 is fairly competitive. And if you consider that you have a return trip thrown in for free it’s almost a DEAL.

As for weekly memberships – I’m not sure who that’s supposed to appeal to. Tourists who have to zip around a bit, maybe. Or maybe business people in town for a few days who want to get from point A to point B and don’t care about site seeing. It seems to be the least popular option and only a few hundred have been sold so far.

Obviously, as I and others have pointed out, the real deal is with the annual membership. That basically makes your fob an unlimited MetroCard for bikes. I live in Queens but work five days a week in Lower Manhattan. Yes, an annual pass has already proved well worth it.

Andrew June 24, 2013 - 9:53 pm

It might make sense to replace a taxi if you are riding by yourself but once you add in the extra cost of paying for your wife and kids or other visiting family Citi Bike doesn’t make sense. 10 times every additional rider adds up faster than everyone sharing one taxi ride.

Miles Bader June 24, 2013 - 10:25 pm

Naw, even for multiple people, citibike still makes a lot of sense for a tourist in many cases.

A typical tourist travel pattern is to bop around all day, making many shortish trips, and citibikes “pay once, bop around all day” model really makes sense for that.

Moreover, riding on a bike is much better for looking around than being trapped inside a taxi with the meter running. It allows you to be much more connected with the environment, and makes it far easier to stop temporarily or make quick side-trips or change your plans en-route somewhere.

Calista June 24, 2013 - 1:09 pm

I like the idea of using CitiBike to fill in the gaps of Sandy-related (and otherwise inconvenient) transit maintenance. The big question is this– when will CitiBike be available to those who live further out in those areas? I live off of the R train in Bay Ridge, which already doesn’t come frequently enough during rush hour.

To get to Lower Manhattan, I would have to pay for a subway ride (note: I travel frequently for work, which negates the practicality of an unlimited metrocard), get to a viable transfer point (which are typically annoying transfers to already overcrowded train lines), then train across and hope that the station is near-ish to my destination. If I wanted to take CitiBike, I’d still need to pay for the subway and take a half hour commute up to the Atlantic area, then ride.

Anything below Atlantic/Pacific (or east of it, really) is being totally neglected in the CitiBike planning.


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