There are many things in short supply in New York City: space on the L train, a beer under $6, sunlight. But there is no shortage of critics, which Citi Bike has certainly learned.
“Our bike snob tests out the CitiBike — and finds it a weighty chore” wrote the Daily News in 2013.
“Is the city really just ‘too mean’ for shared bicycles?” asked The Atlantic‘s CityLab that same year.
And the troll king of all of them, the New York Post, has written about 100 articles about Citi Bike over the years, calling it a “dangerous nuisance” and with such killer headlines as “Citi Bike racks sit unused in Brooklyn boondocks” and “Citi Bike rack remains a ‘death trap’ in the West Village.”
But new data from the bikeshare in the world’s busiest city indicates that the critics were wrong about this one. People want to share bikes in New York, more of them are doing it each year and the service is finding traction even in outer neighborhoods.
Rides on the service have increased each year of the program — from 6.3 million in 2013 to 14 million last year. The number of bikes has doubled — from 6,000 in 2013 to 12,000 today. And the geography of what’s covered has increased tremendously. Where Citi Bike served Manhattan below the 59th Street and a few waterfront Brooklyn neighborhoods, like Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights, it now reaches all the way to 130th Street to the north, Red Hook to the south and Bedford-Stuyvesant to the east. In Bed-Stuy, membership doubled in the last two years.
Citi Bike says it will continue to expand into Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods this year and is looking at other improvements, like this kinda sick headlight laser that they’re piloting on 250 lucky bicycles right now.