New York City’s bike share program is much larger than any other system in the United States, so comparing Citi Bike’s ridership performance to other cities can be tricky. One way to control for the sheer size of Citi Bike’s initial rollout is to look at trips per bike. On Monday, the first day the system was open for business, Citi Bikes became available for use at 11 a.m. Citi Bike members logged 6050 rides by 5:00 p.m. With 6000 bikes available during this initial launch, that adds up to an average of about one trip per bicycle during Citi Bike’s first six hours.
But if we look at the first full day of ridership (and the first work day), Citi Bike outperforms other successful systems in our expanded mega-region. During the following 24 hours, Citi Bike members logged an additional 6,857 rides, or 1.14 trips per bike, on a day that was rainy and gloomy enough to cancel mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s plans to bike to his first debate appearance.
Those early numbers put Citi Bike’s daily per-bike usage slightly higher than the first day performance of Hubway, Boston’s bike share system. During the first full day that Hubway was open for business (July 29, 2011 – a beautiful summer day), members logged 536 trips. With a total 530 bikes on the ground, that amounts to about 1.01 trips per bicycle in that 24 hour period.
Citi Bike also slightly outperformed Washington DC’s Capital Bikeshare, which launched with 400 bikes in September of 2010. In the first 10 days the system was up and running, members logged 4,203 total trips, or 1.05 trips per bike per day.