Just over two weeks in, and Citi Bike—the most watched bike share program in the world—is finally hitting its stride.
Over the weekend, the program hit and surpassed 250,000 rides, a benchmark that marks a sort of coming of age for New York City's royal blue fleet of 6,000 shared bikes. What's more, the data (published daily on Citi Bike’s blog) shows promising trends. Both the number of daily trips and annual memberships are slowly growing. Daily and weekly passes to use the bikes sell better on weekends, possibly signifying an influx of tourists.
It comes as no surprise that the bike share's most popular locations are primarily located in Manhattan. Currently, bike docks are located only in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with far more locations in Manhattan. When the second phase of the bike share is launched (date TBD)—bringing the program to 10,000 bikes at 600 stations—the program will expand farther into Brooklyn and Manhattan and enter a corner of Queens. There currently aren't any plans to roll out the program in Staten Island or the Bronx, which has caused many pundits to declare the program targets only rich white people and hipsters. (And they may be correct, to a point—check out this in-depth analysis of bike share expansion and usage in New York and other American cities.)
That's just one of many complaints about Citi Bike since its June 2 hard launch. There have also been problems ranging from the pre-launch theft of a bike to service disruptions, but overall the program is gaining momentum. Annual memberships grew to 40,000 total during the same weekend Citi Bike recorded trip number 250,000. And, as of last night, slightly more than 311,000 rides had been logged, for a whopping total of 834,261 miles. The next milestone? 1 million miles.