Citi Bike Poll – Citi Bikes!

As most experienced Citi Bikers know, there are two versions of the iconic blue bike.  The original, which we will the Legacy version, was rolled out with the program in 2013.  In 2015, with Citi Bike’s first system expansion on the horizon, the program tapped famous bicycle builder Ben Serotta to design a new version, which we will call the Expansion model.  The new bike featured a number of improvements including less-sticky handlebar grips, more-stable handling, less-water-retaining saddles and more-reliable components.

 

Legacy Model in Foreground, Expansion Model Behind

So now in 2017, how do the two versions stack up?  We dispatched our pollsters to find out this past Thursday.  But first, let’s review some Citi-Bike spotting pointers:

 

Expansion Model on Left, Legacy Model on Right

From the Front the tell-tail signs are:

 – The Legacy model has a front basket with perforated sides and a smaller sticker.  The Expansion model sticker is larger

 – The Legacy model has a blinking front light, while the Expansion model is solid.  This is a general rule, but may vary if the light has been replaced.

From the Back:

Legacy Model on Left, Expansion Model on Right

 – The Legacy model has two tail-lights on the bottom of the seatstays, near the rear dropouts.  The Expansion model has a single tail-light integrated into the rear fender.

 – The Expansion model rear fender is more integrated, without separate stays.  The Expansion model’s fender is a matte black plastic, while the Legacy model is glossier.

How many of each model compose Citi Bike’s fleet?  Citi Bike purports to have 10,000 cycles in the system, though about 500 are relegated to Jersey City, NJ.  6,000 Legacy bikes were introduced with the original program rollout, which would pin the NYC Citi Bike roster at 6,000 Legacy versions to 3,500 Expansion models.

So what did our pollsters find?  Here are the stats:

Day: Thursday, April 13th

Start: Greenway at Christopher Street, 7:55 A.M.

Finish: Greenway at 76th Street, 8:15 A.M.

Weather: Mid-40s, sunny with slight breeze.

Expansion Model: 35

Legacy Model: 22

The warm weather showed a significant increase in Citi Bike riders, with 57 polled.  It can be seen very clearly that there is a strong preference for the new and improved Expansion model.  Despite making up only thirty-seven percent of the fleet, riders chose it sixty-one percent of the time.

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Citi Bike Poll – Helmets!

To Helmet or Not to Helmet… That is the Question!  It is a classic debate, and one which has garnered more attention recently as more communities consider introducing bike share systems.  The question often asked is, how can a program that relies on a patron’s ability to spontaneously grab a bike accommodate users that would prefer to ride with a helmet?  Many solutions have been proposed, including helmet rental schemes, ultra-portable folding helmets, and even disposable helmets!  In municipalities where helmet use is mandatory, such as Seattle and Melbourne, these compulsory helmet laws have been blamed for bike share programs that have failed to thrive.  

All this begs the question:  in a city such as New York, which has a successful bike share program, and allows its citizens to don whatever headwear they feel most appropriate while riding a bike, just how many Citi Bikers are wearing helmets?  To investigate, we dispatched The Observer’s ever-vigilant pollsters yesterday morning to survey Citi Bikers.  

Day: Wednesday, March 29th

Start: Greenway at Christopher Street, 7:48 A.M.

Finish: Greenway at 76th Street, 8:08 A.M.

Weather: Low-40s, cloudy and breezy.

And now, the results:

Helmets: 13

No Helmets: 18

Of 31 polled, only about 42 percent wore helmets.  Would this mean a 58 percent drop in Citi Bike ridership if helmets were made mandatory in New York City?

Citi Bike Poll – Boys vs. Girls

With Saint Valentine’s Day behind us, let us temporarily cast our romantic inclinations aside and engage in an impromptu Citi Bike Poll – “Battle of the Sexes” Edition!

To that end we polled Greenway Citi-Bikers this morning to see who was on top of the Citi Bike game – ladies or gentlemen.  We will reveal the shocking results, but first, the stats:

Day: Thursday, February 23rd

Start: Greenway at Christopher Street, 7:45 A.M.

Finish: Greenway at 76th Street, 8 A.M.

Weather: Mid-40s, foggy with breaks of sun, little wind.

And now, without further ado, drumroll please…

Men: 25

Women: 7

Of a total 32 Citi Bikers polled, Men made up an astounding 78 percent!  This seems to be in line with Citi Bike’s published demographics, an in depth study of which was performed by I Quant NY in 2014.

We plan to re-poll in the future to see how these numbers might evolve as the seasons change.