Citi Bike releases eight months of trip history data for developers, engineers, statisticians, artists, academics and other members of the interested public to use for analysis, development, visualization and more.
Contrary to the chatter in the media, Citi Bike is alive and growing.
This week we welcomed our 100,000th Annual Member and our riders pedaled their 7 millionth mile.
Last Friday and Saturday as the temperatures climbed above freezing riders took over 20,000 trips each day. We are preparing for and eagerly awaiting Spring when we expect even more people to enjoy the fun and convenience of Citi Bike, heading back to our warm weather average of 36,000 trips per day.
There are pieces of news that have come out about our system in recent days that we wanted to address here directly.
First, our parent company, Alta Bicycle Share is looking for investors to help grow Citi Bike into new neighborhoods and communities. Unlike other bike share systems in other cities that have public investment Alta must turn to private investors to help grow our system here. Alta is financially sound and is more committed than ever to making bike share a daily part of American life across the country.
Second, our General Manager will be departing in the coming weeks. He saw us through the launch of the largest bike share system in North America, including deployment of 332 stations and 6,000 bikes in a record short time frame. He will be moving on to a company that manages complex, large scale construction projects. We wish him the best in his new endeavors and welcome Eddie Inlow, former General Manager of Divvy Bikes in Chicago and current COO of Alta Bicycle Share, who will oversee general operations as we conduct a national search.
We thank all of our members and riders for their support over the past year and over the past week. We want you to know that we are committed to providing the best service possible and continuing to work with you to make this not only the biggest, but the best bike share system.
Meet Omar, a soon-to-be graduating senior at New York University who is double majoring in physics and economics. Born in Jordan and raised in Singapore, Omar now lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and uses Citi Bike for his daily commute to class.
Here are Omar’s impressions of Citi Bike and biking in New York:
Lives: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
School: NYU Greenwich Village campus
Did you ride a bike while growing up in Singapore?
Yes, I rode my bike a lot in Singapore. It doesn’t even compare to the experience of biking in NYC. Riding in Singapore is much more laid back, since bikes are relatively isolated from traffic. In NYC, riding amid car traffic, I’m more alert and aware of what’s going on around me.
But you enjoy riding a bike in NYC?
I do. Riding a bike in NYC is quite hard to describe; it’s energizing, but calming at the same time. It’s quite paradoxical – but it’s something that keeps my mind and body in sync. It’s also one of the fastest, healthiest and cheapest ways to get around and explore a lot of NYC.
What do you use Citi Bike for?
Whether it’s going to campus for class, or meeting up with friends for lunch, I try to Citi Bike whenever and wherever I can. When I have an important event to go to, I use the subway or take a cab, but biking is my preferred mode of transportation.
Did you ride in the winter?
I used it quite often during the winter, other than when there was a lot of snow on the road. It got pretty bad this winter! I probably used the subway at least once every week.
Any recommendations for Citi Bike riders venturing to or from Brooklyn?
Well, I wouldn’t really recommend biking across the Brooklyn Bridge, since it can get quite crowded with picture-taking pedestrians. I bike across the Manhattan Bridge at least once a day now. I used to walk across. It’s quite a nice walk, but it takes a while.
For the city’s many university students, the clock is ticking on this academic year. So, if you’re enjoying a low-key NYC staycation this spring break, use your time wisely! Hop on a Citi Bike and visit some of New York City’s best spots while you can.
If you’re not a student, chances are you’ve been meaning to hit up one of these spots too. Why not schedule your own quick break and check it out soon?
Here are our suggestions:
Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg
Located in Williamsburg, Smorgasburg is many college students’ first taste of Brooklyn. Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Smorgasburg showcases specialty food from over 60 NY food vendors. Standouts include beef brisket from Mighty Quinn’s, unconventional spring rolls at Lumpia Shack, and mango-sticky rice desserts from Bamboo Bites. On top of all that, Smorgasburg teams up with Brooklyn Flea during the winter months to offer local goods for sale too. After eating your weight in donuts, consider riding over the Williamsburg Bridge to take in the views and burn off those calories.
Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg - 80 N 5th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
nearest Citi Bike station: Wythe Ave & Metropolitan Ave
The Tenement Museum gives visitors a glimpse into what many parts of Lower Manhattan looked like in the 1800’s, long before Starbucks set up shop around the corner and high-end boutiques started moving in. The museum offers three viewing options: a tour of the building, a neighborhood walk, and the chance to meet ‘residents’ of the building (played by costumed interpreters). Student tickets run at $20 each and must be booked in advance as openings fill up quickly. While walking or biking through the Lower East Side is a cultural experience in itself, a Tenement Museum tour will bring your understanding of the immigrant experience and New York’s rich history to a whole new level.
Tenement Museum - 103 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002
nearest Citi Bike station: Allen St & Rivington St
Please Don’t Tell
PDT is one of NYC’s worst kept secrets. Remember that one late night when you ventured into Crif Dogs with your friends and chowed down on a hot dog smothered in cream cheese? Crif Dogs has always been known for its eccentricity, but the real surprise isn’t found in the restaurant’s menu; it’s in the phone booth in the corner of the room. Step into the booth, pick up the phone, and press the buzzer once. If you’ve done your homework and called ahead you will enter into one of New York’s best known speakeasy bars. Why is it NYC’s worst kept secret? Because all of New York is trying to get in on that same Friday night. Use your spring break wisely and call at 3pm on a weekday to secure your spot.
Please Don’t Tell - 113 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
nearest Citi Bike station: St Marks Pl & 1 Ave
Museum of Sex
The Museum of Sex is infamous among college students and is a first stop for those wanting to exercise their freedom and explore the taboos of sex. The museum does not disappoint - you will get up-close and personal with almost every aspect of sex. In certain parts of the museum touching is even encouraged. What is surprising to many, though, is how well the museum does in presenting sex in an historical and political context. This educational approach takes away the gimmicky aspect and sets the New York Museum of Sex apart from its counterparts around the world. What’s more, the museum has an underground sex themed bar called Play complete with pornography mounted on the walls. Student tickets to the museum cost $15.25.
Museum of Sex - 233 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10016
nearest Citi Bike station: 5 Ave & 29 St
Rubin Museum of Art
Spring Break happens to coincide with New York’s Asia Week with special exhibits at the Japan Society, Korea Society, China Institute, and other museums specializing in Asian art. All of the museums are worth visiting, but the Rubin Museum, specializing in Himalayan art, stands out as a must see. An added perk - on Friday nights the museum restaurant is converted into a cocktail bar called the K2 Lounge. These nights feature a happy hour, live music, and a free film screening in the museum theater. Admission to the museum costs $10 for students, though certain university IDs grant you free entry. Another useful tip: the museum website is currently offering a promotion. Print out a coupon and you can bring a guest to the museum for free.
Rubin Museum of Art - 150 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011
nearest Citi Bike station: W 15 St & 7 Ave
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
National Geographic once named the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market as the top shopping street in the world, and for good reason. On Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the market is flooded with vendors selling bargain priced knick-knacks, antiques, and furniture. More good news - the official website has announced that with the warming weather all three branches of the market will reopen over spring break. A bike ride to or from the market makes a great trip, but perhaps decide against strapping your newly-purchased antique dresser to your Citi Bike, ok? Happy shopping!
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market - 426 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
nearest Citi Bike station: W 39 St & 9 Ave
With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, there’s no better time to check out New York City’s world-class traditional Irish music scene.
Whether you’re looking to duck into a traditional session at a pub or dive into a full-on Irish dance experience, Citi Bike can help you get there any day of the week. (And if multiple pints are in your plans, MTA can get you home!)
Here are some of our picks, along with where to dock your Citi Bike nearby:
Set in Dublin, ONCE is an intimate musical that fuses the glitz of Broadway with the traditional folk vibe of Ireland. (This month, Citi Bike members are eligible for a special discount on tickets to ONCE. Find more details here.)
254 W 54th St. btw Broadway & 8th Ave.
Sunday, March 16 11:30pm
$20 cover charge
nearest station: Broadway & W 53 St
On Tuesday night, head toward the East Village and make your way to the Citi Bike station at East 4th St. and Second Ave. Within sight of your docked bike, you’ll see Dempsey’s, known for its Tuesday night traditional music sessions.
61 E 2nd St. btw 3rd & 4th St.
nearest station: E 4 St & 2 Ave
Thirsty for more? Walk one block west and you’ll find Swift, an Hibernian lounge that also features traditional Irish music on Tuesday nights, starting at 9pm.
34 E 4th St. btw Bower & Lafayette
nearest station: E 4 St & 2 Ave
Every Thursday night, Paddy Reilly’s hosts a night of Irish music and “dance jammin’”, if that’s your scene. All musicians, singers, dancers… and Citi Bikers are welcome. Pedal over to the station at 2 Ave & E 31 St as your warm-up, then get jammin’!
519 Second Ave. at 29th St.
Thursdays 10:30pm – 1am
nearest station: 2 Ave & E 31 St
On the last Friday of each month, the Glucksman Ireland House at NYU features a Blarney Star Concert Series. Dock your Citi Bike at either MacDougal St & Washington Sq. or Washington Square E (at Waverly Pl.) and walk about a block to the Ireland House. Acclaimed Irish musicians kick off with Irish tunes at 8pm.
Glucksman Ireland House at NYU
One Washington Mews
no cover for members and NYU students/faculty, $15 donation for others
last Friday every month
nearest stations: MacDougal St & Washington Sq and Washington Square E
This is only a small sampling of all the Irish culture NYC has to offer. Wherever you’re headed this St. Patrick’s Day, let Citi Bike take you there!
Times Square may be a pedestrian’s paradise, but Citi Bike is giving you seven good reasons to pedal towards 42nd Street this spring and summer.
This spring and summer, Citi Bike is teaming up with seven Broadway shows, from Tony-winning hits to brand new blockbusters, for BIKE TO BROADWAY. Each month from March through September, Citi Bike members have access to a different show deal, ticket giveaways, and show-themed events or activities. With five docking stations immediately surrounding Times Square, Citi Bike is the easiest way to cruise to the theater in time for curtain call.
UPDATE: From April 15 to May 11, BIKE TO BROADWAY features AFTER MIDNIGHT, the smash-hit musical that combines the big-band sounds of Duke Ellington and the best dancing in town. Citi Bike members can purchase tickets at up to 35% off regular price. Check Citi Bike’s Offers page for details. When your show date arrives, grab a Citi Bike and ride over to the Broadway & W 49 St station, only two blocks away from the Brooks Atkinson Theater.
Welcome back to that electrifying time when The Cotton Club was the place to be. In AFTER MIDNIGHT, a company of New York’s best singers, dancers and tappers join forces with The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, a 17-piece band created by jazz great Wynton Marsalis. It’s a glamorous, high-energy celebration of Harlem’s legendary Cotton Club… and it’s all on Broadway in AFTER MIDNIGHT. New York Magazine says it’s “just about perfect.” Through May 11, see Vanessa Williams in the role of special guest star!
Throughout the spring and summer, explore all that Broadway has to offer with Citi Bike. From the music of Duke Ellington and The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars in AFTER MIDNIGHT to Diana Ross in MOTOWN, the love stories of ONCE and ROCKY to the kid-friendly CINDERELLA, heart-stopping PIPPIN, and gut-busting GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER - there’s something for everyone!
Now that the big event has passed, here’s a peek into how we transformed ten bikes from Citi Bike blue to a flowery hue.
Utilizing highway reflective technology, John and Aaron, the artists behind Spoke’n Art, printed decals on high quality 3M removable reflective adhesives that created a seamless bike wrap.
Spoke’n Art and Citi Bike mechanics worked together to apply the decals in a 90-step process that took about three hours per bike, covering just about every inch of the original color.
Finally, the bikes were done! What originally looked like succulents to us now appeared more like sweet frosting. Makes sense, since Under Heaven was actually produced using a pastry chef’s icing applicator.
Sparkly during the day and fully reflective at night, the wrapped bikes were ready for the road and for their Armory Show debut. During Armory Arts Week, eight bikes were incorporated into the Citi Bike system for riders to enjoy while two bikes remained on display at The Armory Show.
Now that the Show is all packed up, these beauties will return to their traditional blue, and back to the daily hustle and bustle of shuttling busy Citi Bike riders to and fro. Thank you to The Armory Show for this special opportunity!
For the first time, a handful of Citi Bikes will shed their iconic blue for a springtime hue. In celebration of Armory Arts Week, ten Citi Bikes will don artwork created by The Armory Show‘s 2014 commissioned artist, Xu Zhen. While eight of the special bikes circulate in the Citi Bike system, two will be on display at The Armory Show, at Pier 94, through Sunday, March 9.
Want a free pass to The Armory Show? Be one of the first 20 people each day (March 6-9) to find a Xu Zhen-designed bike and post a picture on social media with #ArmoryShow14. Follow these instructions to receive a promotion code from The Armory Show.
TO RECIVE YOUR FREE PASS:
1. Snap a photo of a Xu Zhen-designed bike
2. Upload the photo to your personal social media channel(s), like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
3. Tag: #ArmoryShow14
4. E-mail a link of your upload to email@example.com with the subject line “Armory Show 14” for your promotional code
Riding to the show? Dock your Citi Bike at W 52 St & 11 Ave Walk west one block, cross 12th Ave., and you’re there! Find a complete map of Citi Bike stations here.
Meet Illana. Really new to bicycling, Illana learned how to balance and pedal only last year. Immediately smitten, she first rented a bike, then bought her own bike, and finally joined Citi Bike. We met Illana on a wintry Member Meet-up Ride, where she explained that she’d learned how to ride with Bike New York, attended a Citi Bike Street Skills class, and then took to the streets! Quite the determined go-getter!
Here’s Illana’s Citi Bike story:
Occupation: Major Gift Officer for the University of Michigan in the NYC development office. Go Blue!
Lives: Murray Hill
So what finally convinced you to learn how ride a bike as an adult?
It’s something I always wanted to do, but as a child/teenager I was too embarrassed to admit I didn’t know how to ride. As a twenty- and thirty-something, I was too busy with life to take the time to learn. When a friend invited me to ride in the 5 Boro Bike Tour and I shared that I didn’t know how to ride, he encouraged me to ‘fix’ that problem.
How did you learn?
We spent a few hours on a borrowed bike trying to get the basics down, but it took a few adult lessons with Bike New York for me to feel confident enough to rent - and eventually buy! - a bike to ride regularly. My life really hasn’t been the same since. I’m super excited to be riding for the first time in the 5 Boro Bike Tour this May!
What’s your favorite thing about riding a bike in NYC?
Riding in the city is just incredibly liberating. I’ve always loved running in the city - whether in Central Park or along the river paths - but since I’ve started riding, I can go farther and faster than I could ever run, so it’s a really special experience. I also love feeling the wind on my face and seeing the city I’ve called home for the past 15+ years in a slightly different way.
Any tips for newer Citi Bike members?
I use my bell - a lot! - to let people know I’m there. So many people are busy with their smartphones these days that sometimes it’s easy for them to walk in the bike lanes without paying attention, so a little bell-ringing I hope will go a long way.
You commute to work on Citi Bike, but have you used it for anything else?
I recently moved, and during the weeks leading up to finding my apartment, I used Citi Bike constantly to check out tons of apartments that were all over the city. It would have been impossible for me to cover the same ground as quickly and inexpensively with another method.
Any other fun facts about your Citi Biking that you’d like to share?
I try to always wear a helmet when riding a Citi Bike. Sometimes that means schlepping my helmet into some unexpected situations, but that always seems to spark conversation with people around me. It’s been a fun way to make New York City a bit more of a friendly place.
Meet Danny, one of the actual human beings behind Twitter, and brother to former Citi Bike intern Mala. A Citi Bike member since sunny July, Danny hasn’t been driven underground by New York City’s recent spate of abysmal weather. He’s logged almost daily weekday rides this winter - clearly dedicated to getting to work so that the rest of us can keep on tweeting! Here’s his Citi Bike story:
Occupation: Software Engineer at Twitter
Live: East Village
Work: Midtown East
You live smack in the middle of the Citi Bike program area, so do you ride all the time?
I usually ride at least twice a day, to and from work, but on the weekends I could ride up to five times a day.
Lucky! So what’s your favorite thing about riding a bike in NYC?
Being in control of how long it takes me to get somewhere. When I ride the subway I feel like I’m on the MTA’s schedule; riding a bike I’m on my schedule.
Has riding a bike helped you to discover anything new about yourself?
I hate exercising, but I’ve found that when it involves fulfilling a goal - like getting to work or meeting friends - I really enjoy it. My mom keeps telling me I look skinny, but it’s hard to take her compliments seriously.
Has anything else changed since you started riding?
Yeah, I feel great when I get to my destination. When I took the subway to work I still felt half asleep when I got there. But when I show up with a 20 minute bike ride already under my belt, I feel great. As a programmer it also helps me exercise my brain before I get to work; it’s like an energy boost for the day.
Commuting can be exciting, but have you enjoyed any other adventures by bike?
One Saturday night my friends and I decided to go on a 4am bike ride. We picked up Citi Bikes from the station on 9th Street and Avenue C and rode across the bridge to Williamsburg. Once we got to Brooklyn we just kept docking and riding around looking for late night food. That was the greatest falafel I’ve ever had.
If you have a Citi Bike secret, what is it?
Pay attention to (and refresh!) the Citi Bike app to learn how stations fill up at different times of the day. Lafayette St. and 8th St. is my go-to station on my ride back from work, even though it isn’t the closest one to my apartment, since I know docks are usually available there when I need one.
Any tips for new riders?
Wear a helmet. Mine makes me feel more confident, even when I’m already riding pretty carefully in the city. There are lots of different helmets available (I’m partial to the Bern one I’m wearing), so you can be safe AND stylish. Oh and of course, follow @CitibikeNYC on Twitter to learn about station updates and lots more!
Built to withstand heavy use and whatever Mother Nature throws their way, Citi Bikes have put up with a lot since their New York City debut last May. After record high rides-per-day this summer to endless snow this winter (read: salt!), the Citi Bike shop has been busy, repairing an average of 625 bikes per week.
Sometimes, bikes return to our shop showing exceptional wear and tear, with certain parts requiring more repair than it makes sense for us to take on. Rather than exiling those parts to a landfill, they’re getting a second life thanks to Bikes for the World.
Bikes for the World is the largest bicycle reuse charity in the United States, collecting thousands of used bicycles, bike parts, and tools every year. Delivering the materials in commercial quantities to community programs in developing countries, Bikes for the World supplies help to generate skilled employment in bicycle repair and maintenance overseas. Donated bicycles also provide affordable transportation to individuals getting to work or school, or to those delivering health and education services in low-income rural areas.
After months of stockpiling damaged components, Citi Bike mechanics recently filled a 24’ truck with tubes, tires, saddles, pedals, and grips that were too far gone for our use, but still had some life in them. Along with the Citi Bike-specific tools some of those parts require, the items are on their way to partner programs anywhere from Ghana and Sierra Leone to Panama and the Philippines.
We met Alexis when she stopped by Citi Bike’s holiday booth at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar. We were immediately smitten by her energy and enthusiasm for Citi Bike, which she uses for sober bar hopping in the East Village (Diet Coke, please!), getting nail art in Soho, and meeting friends for dinner in the West Village. Here’s a bit about her Citi Bike experience:
Occupation: Managing editor for MTV Act, the network’s pop culture and social change blog.
Lives: East Village (9 years and counting!)
Works: Times Square (Remember the TRL studio? Right there.)
What’s your favorite thing about riding a bike in NYC?
Where do I even begin? It’s an exhilarating experience, like no other. I have lived in or near NYC for my entire life. To ride a bike in the city is to view New York from a different perspective.
Any tips for newer Citi Bike members?
Don’t be scared! Riding a bike sounds more difficult than it is. If I can do it, ANYONE can do it. Before Citi Bike, I hadn’t ridden a bike in years. I took one of Bike New York‘s Citi Bike Street Skills classes. It made me feel more confident riding, I learned something new, and left with a free 24-hour Citi Bike pass and 20% discount at Bicycle Habitat, the bike shop where the class was held. Take the class!
As a relatively new bike rider, has biking helped you discover anything about yourself?
I have a short attention span. Off-bike I tend to get easily distracted, but riding a bike keeps me focused; you have no choice but to pay attention to your surroundings. It’s good physical AND mental exercise!
Have you noticed any other perks to being a bike rider?
I’m helping the environment in the city I love so much. Also, I have more time - riding a bike is usually faster than taking the subway. And as we all know, time is precious for New Yorkers.
It’s already a month into the new year, but what are you looking forward to in 2014?
My dad, RayRay, is 72 and very young at heart. He’s a proud New Yorker as well. He taught me to ride a bike as a kid. This year I want to ride Citi Bikes with him. I’d love for him to see NYC in a different way like I have come to enjoy.
Any other fun facts about your Citi Biking that you’d like to share?
You meet awesome people when you ride a Citi Bike. I love talking to fellow riders. And ladies, if you’re single, it’s an interesting way to meet guys!
From sleet and freezing rain to sunshine, and from shared lanes and bike lanes to greenways, this past Saturday’s Member Meet-up Ride had it all! Thanks to NYC Biketrain for leading the ride, and to the hardy and seemingly windproof Citi Bike members who joined us! (All photos by Rod Huntress.)
Members gathered at Citi Bike’s Pershing Square station, the largest in the system, after grabbing free coffee at The LCL inside the Westin Grand Central. One lucky attendee won a free renewal of her Citi Bike membership!
When asked whether they wanted to wrap up the ride early due to the pretty miserable conditions, the reply was unanimous: “We’re already out here; let’s do this.” Bold! We pedaled on down the Hudson River Greenway, glad that we could pick up some speed and keep moving.
We made our way across town to the east side, crossing over the FDR Drive and into East River Park. Citi Bike member David (above) explained that some of the land beneath us was fill from the rubble of WWII-ravaged Bristol, England, shipped back in empty American supply ships. Who knew?
Hallelujah! The sun came out! Goodbye, ice pellets from the sky.
We rode south on the East River Esplanade, passing flag football games and soccer matches, before heading into Chinatown and back up north to Union Square. All in all, a good morning!
Meet Nathan, who has lost an impressive 25 pounds since he joined Citi Bike in May 2013. Bored by his gym’s elliptical machine, Nathan unlocked a Citi Bike and took to the Manhattan Bridge. He quickly realized that bike commuting was the only way to go! Now a daily rider, Nathan not only feels better, but actually appreciates his commute.
Occupation: Studio manager for fine art photographer Matthew Pillsbury (this year marks a decade working with him!)
Live: Brooklyn Heights
Work: West 3rd Street, near Washington Square Park
Do you have a favorite route?
I definitely prefer streets that have dedicated bike lanes in Manhattan. I ride across the Manhattan Bridge, up Chrystie (where there’s a great bike lane), left on Houston, up Bowery for a few short blocks and left across West 3rd Street.
Before Citi Bike, had you ever biked across the bridge?
No! I was actually terrified of biking in the city before Citi Bike launched. My friends were all surprised by how I latched onto it. Once I started riding, I couldn’t believe it had taken me this long to get into biking.
Did you change anything else about your lifestyle to lose the weight?
I try to eat better, but honestly not too much has changed except that I now bike - not only on Citi Bike, but also when I travel for work. I rent bikes in every city I end up in.
Since losing 25 pounds, how has your life changed?
I fit into medium sized shirts and smaller pants again! I feel better overall, too. I was nearly 200 pounds and now I’m about 174. Maybe 176 post-holiday…
What is your Citi Bike secret? Any fun tips for new riders?
Riding over the bridge late at night or early on a weekend morning gives me the feeling that the city is completely empty. It’s kind of cool to be the only biker on the bridge at certain times of day. I wish I had more tricks to finding a bike in Brooklyn Heights on a sunny, warm day, but that just goes to show how popular Citi Bike has become!
Meet Mitsy, who joined us at a recent Citi Bike Member Meet-Up Ride. Originally from Montreal, Mitsy charmed us when she explained (in a sweet French Canadian accent) why she’d moved to NYC a few years ago: “to make my dreams come true.”
Born and raised: Montreal, Quebec (home to the Bixi bike share system)
Current neighborhoods: Upper East Side (home) and Midtown (work)
What do you do? I’m a programme associate at an international non-profit organization.
Impressions on New York City: I just love the energy and the diversity of culture here. This is a city with so much potential, where your dreams really can come true. Cliche, but Frank Sinatra wasn’t lying!
Impressions on riding a bike in NYC: Riding in NYC makes you fall in love with this city all over again. You can discover and rediscover places and neighborhoods every ride.
Where did your last Citi Bike ride take you? The other day I was supposed to meet someone for a drink and at the last minute the person cancelled. I was pretty upset and just decided to hop on a Citi Bike. Amazingly, it helped me relax and I got my smile back. I’m not saying that riding a bike is better than a drink, but it can be as good as a nice glass of Malbec.
What were your New Year’s resolutions? To laugh and have more fun, to find a good balance between work and play, and, when the weather warms up, to bike at least three times a week while trying to increase my speed.
Do you have a Citi Bike secret tip? You can get a free bike helmet from NYC DOT by calling 311!
Want to be featured in an upcoming post? Join us at a Member Meet-Up Ride! Spring dates will be listed soon on our Events page.
Meet Omar and Javier, members of Citi Bike’s Special Operations crew, and affectionately known as Team OJ. Often the public face of Citi Bike, Omar and Javier are just two of the many men and women who work day and night to make sure Citi Bike is at its best for our riders. To find out what goes into maintaining and repairing our 332 stations, we recently hopped in a Citi Bike van and tagged along with Team OJ during one of their shifts.
Working together since April 2013, Team OJ (above) does it all - collecting bikes in need of repair, rebalancing the system to enhance bike and dock availability, moving entire stations to accommodate special events and construction, and lots more.
When we joined Team OJ, they were working on a winter weather project: prepping Citi Bike stations along New York City’s major plow routes for upcoming snowfall. Affixing metal brackets (above) to station markers, Team OJ and others would later add tall orange flags to the brackets. The flags would alert drivers that they’d be approaching a potentially snow-masked Citi Bike station.
With a high of 23 degrees F, it was clear that drilling screws in the ground was more difficult than usual. Team OJ usually goes through four drill battery packs per day. At noon they were already on number 7!
The Citi Bike system is dense, with most stations only two or three blocks apart. Omar and Javier had their work cut out for them this day, when they expected to visit about 30 stations.
As a member of the Special Operations crew, you have to be ready for anything. Sometimes in order to do your job, you have to do some heavy lifting!
Speaking of heavy lifting, Team OJ pointed out that repairing station bridging - the striped metal strips that allow Citi Bike cables to snake around utility covers and grates - requires them to lift an entire station plate to make adjustments. Yikes.
Later, Team OJ’s hard work would be put to good use! Here’s a station decked out with its orange snow flag, ensuring that drivers take precaution (and that the Team wouldn’t have to be back to make post-snowstorm station repairs!).
If you spot Team OJ out on the streets in their dayglo yellow vests, give them a big hello!
Well, brace yourselves! With a polar vortex approaching New York City, tonight’s temperature will drop in a major way - from today’s high in the mid-50s to about 9 degrees by tomorrow morning. With 40mph winds, tomorrow’s real feel temp has been forecast at around -20 degrees. Yowza.
With that, here are a couple more cold weather riding tips for you. (Find tips 1 and 2 here.)
3. Dress in Layers
When it’s -20 degrees out, you should probably just wear everything you own. But, in general, wear layers when riding in the cold, allowing you to adjust as you go. Keep in mind, you’ll warm up a few minutes into your ride, so don’t need to overdo it. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer (not cotton!) followed by a wool or fleece insulating layer. Top that with a waterproof and windproof outer layer, like a breathable shell.
Of course, if you want to wear your glamorous winter coat while riding, that’s cool, especially for short Citi Bike trips. Long rides in the cold, though, can be more comfortable in the layers described above.
4. Cover Your Head & Ears
Especially if your helmet has lots of vents (great for summer!), you’ll want to wear a thin wool cap underneath to retain some of your body heat while riding (though not 45%, like mom always said).
Still, covering your head, ears, and neck will make you much more comfortable in the cold. Just be sure to select a hat that fits under your helmet and doesn’t compromise your hearing. Also, don’t let your layers limit your mobility; tie your scarf loose enough so that you can still rotate your head to see what’s happening around you.
Stations temporarily removed, to be reinstalled early in 2014:
Broadway & W 49 St
Broadway & W 51 St
Broadway & W 53 St
Broadway & W 55 St
Stations temporarily deactivated on 12/30/13, to be reinstalled early in 2014. Deactivated stations do not accept or release bikes.
W 38 St & 8 Ave
W 41 St & 8 Ave
W 45 St & 6 Ave
W 51 St & 6 Ave
Broadway & W 39 St
Broadway & W 41 St
Broadway & W 58 St
Station temporarily deactivated on 12/31/13, to be reinstalled early in 2014:
Center & Chambers St
Please check Citi Bike’s station map for alternate stations to use at this time.
This weekend may have brought us balmy 60 degree weather, but, hey, remember when it snowed like crazy last week? When flakes seemed to fall horizontally, directly into our delicate faces, and freezing rain added insult to injury? Well, that didn’t stop Citi Bike riders from rolling on!
Unlike other systems that pack up for the winter, we’re here to stay. Here are a few photos and stats about Citi Bike’s first few weeks of wintery weather.
Winter Riding by the Numbers:
(View stats for every day since launch on our website)
Snowiest Day - December 14
Total trips taken: 3,802
Total miles traveled: 5,557
Most popular stations on Dec 14:
Lafayette St & E 8 St
E 17 St & Broadway
W 21 St & 6 Ave
A bundled up Isaac rebalancing the system at Petrosino Square on snowy Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013.
Snowy Day - December 17
Total trips taken: 8,135
Total miles traveled: 11,334
Coldest Day - December 12
(daytime high of 30 degrees)
Total trips taken: 17,819
Total miles traveled: 24,813
Rain, sun, sleet and snow our Rebalancing Team is out moving bikes around!
What Citi Bikers say about biking through the season
From his sister, to his dad, Pavel’s been around devoted cyclists his whole life, but never really took to riding. But, Citi Bike did the trick! Now an avid user, he especially enjoys riding around NYC with his two daughters, keeping the family tradition of cycling alive.
Name: Pavel Lempert
Occupation: Operations Manager & Chief Facilitator for Drum Café, a corporate team building company
Home: Lower East Side
Work: Home! (usually)
Coming from a bike-friendly family, you held out for a long time. What made you finally get on the saddle?
My daughters, who both got their own bikes recently, were eager to graduate to riding on the street. And since space/storage concerns have prevented me from owning a bike in the past, Citi Bike easily answered the question, “Should I, responsible dad, get a bike?”
How do you use Citi Bike?
The privilege and responsibility of my kids’ after-school schedule falls on me. And with one of my daughters having soccer practice or a game everyday after school, I bring her bike to her, I hop on a Citi Bike, and we ride home together. Sometimes her sister will join us, and it is a great opportunity to get them comfortable with how to ride safely in traffic.
As a new member of the club, what’s your favorite thing about riding a bike in NYC?
I love how “small” our little part of the island has become. My daughter’s games have been played on various fields around the downtown area, and on a Citi Bike, everything is within a 15-minute ride.
Any Citi Bike experiences that stand out?
The joy of riding with both my daughters in tow; riding across East 10th Street to the East River Promenade, and then biking down towards home, the view of Brooklyn, the bridges, and people out enjoying themselves. All this with the occasional shout of “How ya doin’?” back to my daughters, and their predictable response of, “I’m fine” or, “Let’s go faster!” followed by me saying, “Wait for me, my legs are tired!” It doesn’t get any better than that.
Before Citi Bike I would…but now I…
Before Citi Bike, I would run my commute through the typical calculus of NYC transportation timing—too far to walk, too close for a subway or cab, and a bus doesn’t go there. But now—without any hesitation—I just jump on a Citi Bike, knowing that there will be a station somewhere near my destination.
Meet Avery, Citi Bike staff accountant and resident Karaoke Queen. When she’s not rushing the stage to perform one of Abba’s greatest hits, she’s processing invoices and paying the bills. An almost daily bike commuter, here’s Avery outside the Citi Bike office one warm fall day.
Born and raised: Bensalem, PA
Current neighborhood: Bed Stuy, Brooklyn
Favorite pastimes: Making soap, listening to John Mayer albums, and participating in theater.
Favorite brown bag lunch: A salad with couscous and cheese, lots of cheese.
Citi Bike rider? Yes! I ride a Citi Bike to the office when my personal bike needs repair and on the weekends.
You switch your desktop background all the time. What is it today? The eye of Smaug poster from The Hobbit.
What’s the story with your tattoo? I have a degree in theater, and consider Sam Shepard the most important American playwright of the last 40 years.
Now that’s devotion…
Unlike similar bike share systems up north, like Montreal and Boston, Citi Bike operates year-round, through all four of New York’s glorious seasons. While Citi Bike’s field staff (think rebalancers and station technicians) will have to contend with some wild winter weather, so too will our 6,000 bikes, which live outside, of course. Read on to find out what we’re doing to keep the wheels spinning as the snow falls.
Actually, forget snow - basic road grit and grime can have some pretty harsh effects on bikes. Sand, salt, debris. Aye! Not to worry though, our team is on it: “As Citi Bike reckons with its first winter, we’re expecting the bikes to be dirtier and more prone to corrosion due to the salt and slush on the roads,” says Phil Capezio, Bike Fleet Operations Manager. “So, we’re giving every bike a more in-depth inspection than the monthly check they routinely receive, and we’re ensuring they get cleaned properly every time they are in the shop or inspected on the street.”
What does the winter tune-up inspection entail? Your standard preventative maintenance, just done a bit more frequently: “We’ll be cleaning and greasing the bearings and replacing them, if needed; checking the brake and shifter cables/housing and replacing them, if needed; and checking the drivetrain for wear and cleaning and replacing, if needed, too.”
These parts of the bike are those most heavily affected by winter road spray, but with our experts providing a little extra TLC, you can pedal assured that we’re doing everything we can to minimize bike wear and tear to keep you shifting smoothly until the springtime!
Name: Reuben M.
Occupation: Manager, Portal and Web Services at The Fashion Institute of Technology
Home: Throggs Neck, the Bronx
We met Reuben when he posted a picture of his stack of Citi Bike ride receipts to Citi Bike’s Facebook page. By his estimation, he’ll save hundreds of dollars this year on mass transit and parking fees thanks to Citi Bike. It also brought him closer to his girlfriend (now fiance!). Read more below.
Why did you sign up for Citi Bike?
When Citi Bike launched, my then girlfriend (now fiance) Dianne lived on the extreme east side of Manhattan, a good distance from my job on the far west side. Both the crosstown bus and the walk were sometimes too much - too slow and too far. With Citi Bike, the ride to her place was usually less than 10 minutes! Plus, Citi Bike is just cool. She recently moved closer to my job, but I still take a Citi Bike to her place on a regular basis.
So let’s get this straight, you live in the Bronx, but you’re still able to work Citi Bike into your commute?
I normally drive to work and until Citi Bike, parking around my job was challenging. With Citi Bike, I have been able to expand my parking zone. Instead of parking within 3-5 blocks, I can now park within 1-2 miles and hop on a Citi Bike to work, keeping me and my car out of really congested neighborhoods. Citi Bike has changed the way I think about parking.
Tell us more about those receipts you posted on Facebook…
I take one to four Citi Bike trips per day, and print a ride receipt from the station kiosk each time. It’s helped me tally how much cash I’ve saved using Citi Bikes instead of buses or trains. Not to mention all the money saved by not having to park my car in parking lots, which is a minimum of $16 a day on the low end. It’s amazing. I imagine my end of year savings will be in the $300-$400 dollar range.
Have you discovered anything about yourself while riding a bike in NYC?
I discovered how much I missed riding bicycles. I used to love riding as a kid and have had so many years of not riding in my adult life - I forgot how much fun it is! The first time I took a Citi Bike out I must have gotten five thumbs-up from people walking and admiring the Citi Bikes. You feel like you’re part of a club when you’re on a Citi Bike - Club NYC!
Magic is one of my passions, so if you ever see me on a Citi Bike, ask me to do a magic trick for you!
Gift Certificates for Annual Memberships, 24-Hour & 7-Day Passes Now Available Online
Looking for a gift that’s fun, easy and totally New York?
Give the gift of Citi Bike! Our new gift store makes it easy to pick up some 24-Hour passes for Secret Santa or buy and Annual Membership gift certificate for the bicyclist in your life.
The New York Times named Citi Bike one of their favorite gift ideas of 2013 and CNN recently listed New York as one of the seven cities around the world that “doing it right” as part of the bike share boom.
Gift certificates purchased now are good for a full year, so your giftee can use it now or wait for spring to enjoy.
We hope your holidays are filled with fun, friendship and sharing!
Many people have begun asking us, “what’s going to happen to the bikes during the winter?” The answer is—they’ll be available except in cases of extreme weather. A chilly 10 minute bike ride still beats the heck out of a frigid 30 minute walk, right?
If it’s your first winter riding, there are a few items that will help make it more enjoyable. A warm jacket, gloves, a warm scarf or turtleneck, thick socks (wool is nice) and perhaps a helmet liner (or just a thin hat that fits beneath your helmet) are enough for short trips on all but the coldest of days. Layers are great if you’re taking a longer trip or are prone to work up a sweat when you pedal.
In case of inclement weather, we may need to lock down or move bikes to protect our riders or to allow for snow removal efforts. We hope that these events will be rare. We plan to notify our members via e-mail, Twitter, Facebook and SMS (text Citibike9 to 55155 for text alerts) if we do need to turn off the entire system or a large portion of it. So, choose which way you’d prefer to receive your Citi Bike weather-related updates and check in if the forecast calls for snow or other extreme conditions.