Citi Bike just sent out an e-mail sharing its top 10 “2013 highlights.” Among the accomplishments: Citi Bikes make up a third of all bike traffic in the program’s service area, each bike was ridden an average of six times per day over the summer, customer service gets an average of 1,300 calls a day, an average of 625 bikes are repaired each week, and Citi Bike riders took 6,000+ trips during the day of the Polar Vortex.
These fun facts remind us that we have yet to post footage of the cycling panel we hosted at the Bedford + Bowery Newsroom back in October. Play the video above to hear Keegan Stephan (Time’s Up, Right of Way), Brendt Barbur (Bicycle Film Festival), AJ Nichols (Harvest Cyclerly) and Daniel Leeb (Cinecycle) talk bike lanes, ridiculous arrests, and, of course, the “spandex community.”
Here’s what they had to say about Citi Bike.
Leeb: “Just seeing people who are on the Citi Bikes, they’re not the people who have bikes, generally speaking — so it’s pretty awesome to see people on bikes that maybe wouldn’t necessarily use a bike otherwise and now they’re like, “Oh, I don’t want to have a bike in the city because it’s just going to get stolen,” and now they have this bike share program and they can use it. And it doesn’t have the usage that some of these other cities across the world have but it’s growing and I think it’s pretty awesome to see people on these bikes. At the same time, the people who are on the bikes don’t always have the same awareness and experience riding a bicycle, so at times it can also be a little bit dangerous when you meet up with someone riding a Citi Bike. I personally have been in situations where i almost got into an accident with someone on a Citi Bike and its sometimes a little unnerving.”
Stephan: “The most important type of bike activism you can do is just ride a bike, so you wake people up to the fact that they should be looking out for cyclists — and bike share is doing that: it’s waking people up both on their bikes and for drivers who if they identify with the cyclists — as has been brought up — they’ll drive safer. So we’re getting that. As this panel has also said, if the infrastructure comes the culture will follow. People will start to figure it out — they might get on and ride the wrong direction and be dangerous for a little while and they’ll realize that’s dangerous and they’ll start to ride more safety. It’s an opportunity to build more community.”
Nichols: “I think bike share is one of the awesomest things to happen to New York City in a long time, beyond just cycling. There’s grandmas riding those things, there’s little old ladies, there’s dudes riding from Wall Street to their train, there’s people that don’t ride bikes and don’t even own a bike and they don’t care about bikes — it’s just the fact that it’s something that’ll get them from point A to point B quickly, elegantly, efficiently. And that’s the whole point and it’s beautiful.”
Play the video to hear more, including the story of how Leeb and his bike ended up on the cover of the New York Post.