Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Don't renew your CitiBike membership!

From the Daily News:

Over the 10 months since Citi Bike debuted, more than 97,000 riders forked over $95 for a yearly permit to pedal the blue bikes.

In exchange, they have gotten lousy treatment from a mismanaged company that is going broke and planning to ask for either a rate hike or taxpayer support.

Under Mayor Bloomberg and now Mayor de Blasio, the Department of Transportation has been ineffectual in forcing Bike Share NYC to get its act together.

DOT refuses, for example, to voice anything but muted criticism, despite knowing how badly the secretive bicycle rental agent is performing.

The company’s monthly reports, filed with the city and made public for the first time by the Daily News, certify its failures:

When curbside rental docks break down, the company must repair 99% of the inoperable stations within 48 hours. It August, it reported getting to just 64%.

In January, Bike Share NYC reported fixing just 50% of docks in 48 hours, and taking care of just 37% of vandalized bicycles within 96 hours, compared with the 98% the contract demands.

Plainly, New York has ceded control of an expanding mode of street transportation to a troubled, unaccountable monopoly.

The city could fine Bike Share NYC, but that would deepen its ills. Or the city could try to boot Bike Share NYC, but that would likely bring the bikes to a halt pending arrival of a new operator.

That’s why Citi Bikers — who have been vocal about the system’s hassles online — must take matters onto their own handlebars. We suggest using the Twitter hashtag #fixcitibike to convey the message: no upgrades, no renewals.


J said...

I knew this would not last a year.

I seen plucky kids coming out of the art and design high school one day approach a shitibike station and kicked the front wheel of the bikes and knocked it out of the rack.So there is really no need to renew your membership.just don't take the bike home with you.

Anonymous said...

There was one bike by Grand Central Station that was missing its front tire.

Anonymous said...

End it. Don't mend it.

Nate said...

The more people don't use the it, the better it is for those of us who do. So please, cancel your membership.

I use citibike twice a day, and while not perfect, it does the trick.

If they raise rates beyond $200 a year I think I would just purchase a bicycle. So they can't really raise the rates that much. Considering the budget of the MTA, I think giving citibike some money is a good idea.

But I think citibike was making money hand-over-fist in the summer, and they will again.

I wouldn't believe they need a hand out. They just need to cut costs and work within their revenue.

Queens Crapper said...

I can't imagine the city council members representing minority districts would consent to publicly funding a blatantly racist program.

Anonymous said...

How is citibike blatantly racist? Most of them would probably be alright funding it if it brought the system to their district.

Queens Crapper said...

How is it blatantly racist? It's only found in well-off white communities. And requiring a credit card for purchase is going to prevent a lot of people from using the service as well.

Anonymous said...

Anything that requires a credit card is blatantly racist now?

What about the citibike stations near NYCHA projects? Do they count as well-off white communities?

Again, I'd say a lot of representatives from minority and impoverished districts would be happy enough to have the city fund expansion of the network into their districts. The city funds every other transportation mode, no reason it shouldn't fund citibike capital costs as well.

Queens Crapper said...

"Anything that requires a credit card is blatantly racist now?"

No. A public amenity that requires one is.

Which stations were installed near housing projects?

Anonymous said...

"How is it blatantly racist? It's only found in well-off white communities."

I have to disagree with you there. Numerous stolen city bikes are available for use in the hood.

I always get a good laugh seeing the youths in the warmer months in East Flatbush and Brownsville Brooklyn riding down the street on the city bikes.

Anonymous said...

Now if the city can just admit to what a complete disaster the bike lane program was, and remove them we would be all set.

Anonymous said...

There are housing projects within the citibike installed area in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Those areas weren't avoided. So you have stations by Lilian Wald, Baruch, LaGuardia, Walt Whitman etc...

Here's a map in case you want to take a look.


The only area within the contiguous deployment that was avoided, the only real hole is in Williamsburg.


“I’m against the bike racks,” added Avner Fried. “The installation of bike racks is crazy to me.”

Ultra religious Jews have battled bikes for years.

So the city didn't feel like fighting them on this, at least not yet.

The credit card requirement isn't without reason. There are additional fees if you keep the bike out for more than 45 minutes. If you think there are a lot of people without banks who would be willing to leave with citibike a deposit substantial enough to cover the cost of a stolen bike, and replenish that every time they keep the bike out for more than 45 minutes and incur additional user fees before being able to ride, I'd be rather surprised. Are you claiming it's racist because minorities are disproportionately likely to be bankless and so unable to use citibike because of the credit card requirement? They're also disproportionately likely to be carless, so does that make any program that makes driving more convenient, with the roads seen as a public amenity, racist?

How has the bike lane program been a complete disaster?

Queens Crapper said...

Oh good gravy. They installed racks in areas frequented by hipsters that happen to be near projects. They did not install them FOR the projects. There is no other public mode of transportation that I am aware of that takes credit cards.

"They're also disproportionately likely to be carless, so does that make any program that makes driving more convenient, with the roads seen as a public amenity, racist?"

This is some twisted logic. Roads are needed for emergency vehicles, deliveries of goods and public transportation. Last time I checked, bikes used roads as well!

Anonymous said...

In minority neighborhoods, travel by bike is a necessity for many. Yet there are no calls for installing CitiBike there. In certain white neighborhoods, all of which are serviced by excellent public transportation, travel by bike is considered a luxury. Yet we want to subsidize it! Hello, this is just a bit backwards.

Anonymous said...

"How his the bike lane program been a complete disaster?"

The congestion on roads where a car lane has been removed for the bike lane as the bike lane sits empty, and the parking that has been lost due to bike lanes that sit mostly unused except on a sunny 70 degree day.

Having a dedicated lane for bikes where there may only be 10 bikes a day using it is not good use of our limited roadway space.

Anonymous said...

Remember that CitiBike was sold to all of us as privately funded and it would never be asking the city for money.

Let it go bankrupt. It will be instructive to everyone.

Anonymous said...

So anything not done specifically for people in the projects is blatantly racist crappy? What's the standard, I'm having trouble figuring it out.

Also, NYCHA residents get a discount on citibike.


Only a handful of days where fewer than 5k people rent citibike the last couple months. The weather has been worse than 70 and sunny in that time.

Do you have specific roads in mind where congestion is much worse with the bike lane? Any data to support your assertion? Many people use the street for long term parking. These are vehicles that are only used occasionally. What makes that a better use of limited roadway space? Remember, many bike lanes were installed without removing a lane of traffic or a lane of parking. The street had been designed to allow for reckless speeding in areas where such speeds would not be appropriate. The lanes were narrowed to reduce this. With the extra room, a bike lane was installed. No impact on law abiding drivers. The only impact was to make it more difficult to speed recklessly.

Queens Crapper said...

It's already been proven that the demographic that CitiBike targeted was the well-off white person, and that's who uses it. So let them bail it out, not taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

They haven't asked for city money though? Where have the people who run citibike said taxpayers need to bail them out? So any program for 'well-off white persons' is blatantly racist? It's not like it's only available to them, and they're refusing any other prospective users. Again, what's your standard for a program being 'blatantly racist', and how does it apply to citibike?

Queens Crapper said...

No, they haven't asked for money. There are certain council members that suggested giving it to them. And that's not kosher.

Anonymous said...

Why is it illegitimate to have city funds go to citibike expansion to bring it into minority neighborhoods?

Queens Crapper said...

Who ever said they were planning to expand it to minority neighborhoods? No one. They want to expand it to LIC, another gentrified whote area. Again, let the people who can afford to pay for it do so.

Anonymous said...

We really do need NYC to fund the bikeshare system, like every other city with a similar system does. Since it's been in place there has been a huge increase in everyday people getting around with healthy, non-polluting transportation, instead of crowding the subways or funding more taxis, even on cold and rainy days (though of course less so). The system needs improvement, as you could say for just about every other system in NYC. But funding it through out all the city would be a fraction of what we're spending for roads, even though only less then a 3rd of NYCers have cars (the leading instrument of preventable deaths in NYC). Maybe if the company does fail, NY can buy the system and run it as part of the MTA, with the same metrocard system.

Anonymous said...

Citibike was doomed from the start you should see how they spend money salaries are excellent call center manager earn 77,000 a year typically a 45,000 salary

Anonymous said...

people have been riding bikes on NYC roads for DECADES, but sheltered vanilla hipsters come by and they get special treatment I.E bike lanes at the expense of thousands of local residents, businesses and shipping/delivery services who use these roads 24/7 only so that 4 bike riders can use it every day.
If that isnt blatant racism, segregation and entitlement I dont know what is.

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you're seeing the bike lanes empty, but I sometimes ride the bikes twice a day and the lanes a full of people (usually there are more 'regular' bikers than citibikers) and the bike racks are often empty (around rush hour when I want one) . I ride from the Meat packing district up to the upper east side for the past year and haven't see any vandalized bikes. I've had contact with broken docks (which is frustrating) but not so many that I'm too annoyed.

This program makes manhattan much more livable for people who spend time there. Why would someone get on the subway or ride in a taxi if they can ride a few blocks?

Personally, I think it's an awesome program that should be expanded to the rest of manhattan. CitiBike can just manage its finances better, but that advise goes to any business. Especially a new one.

The bikes are shitty enough so that nobody would want to steal one -- they are heavy, and super-slow and you can buy a better bike at walmart for like 70 bucks.

Anonymous said...

I disagree on the the program being racist. It has nothing to do with race. You're associating wealth with race and these are your own perceptions that you're overlaying on the situation. To completely associate a white person to being well off is racist in itself.

Any programs that have to deal with services transcending wealth (this is a capitalist economy) should be dealt with the government. It isn't the responsibility of a private company unless there is an agreement with the government.

And before you go lashing out on saying there is an agreement, you should start the argument with this statement to begin with so that the argument is productive and not pure opinion.

Telling a grocery store like Whole Foods that they're racist because they won't expand to a lower income neighborhood is ridiculous because their whole business model is based on a higher income community.

I'm assuming you are putting the responsibility on the company because you see Citi bike as a public mode of transportation that everyone deserves. It is not. Food/water is also considered something that "everyone deserves" but it isn't. High end foods is a luxury. Biking is a luxury, walking is a necessity. Before the Citi bike program people couldn't even transport by bike within forking over a large sum of money to buy one. Renting one was not practical.

The logistics of paying by cash rather than credit card would ruin the practicality of the system and drive the costs up. Dealing with cash rather than electronic credit will definitely add overhead costs in hiring even more people.

I can't speak for Citi bike and what their business development plan is in how they are trying to keep the program running while being as expansive as they are but you can't tell someone how to run a business when your "solutions" will run it to the ground.

You should come up with suggestions to your fullest ability with the details on how it will work so that the program can keep running for everyone otherwise you're just being biased towards "minorities" which I think is a fake social construct. (I am a "minority") The term "minority neighborhoods" is ridiculous.

Advice: The way your argument is presented will be ignored. It just looks like whining. Present some hard evidence.

Anonymous said...

CRAP! They increased their prices by 50%!!!
It was $95 when I renewed last year, now it's $150!!!!!!!!!!!
Not worth it anymore.
It's a monopoly that will likely keep raising their prices.