For all the good news about Citi Bike (No one’s died on one! Even neighborhoods not served by them are using the bikes!), there’s plenty of bad news. While it looks like a private bailout of the system is right around the corner, the system’s new owners are going to have to do their damnedest to win back their audience, because according to some fancy maths that WNYC did, half of Citi Bike’s early annual members didn’t renew their yearly membership.
Maths are of course a dark arts, coherent only to a select few priests and the like. We understand that. Still, using the best number they could, WNYC added up the number of renewals in May 2014 and June 2014 and came up with 22,136 renewals. They then subtracted them from the the number of total memberships in June of 2013 (52,125), and wound up with the number 29,989 total renewals. They explain all of the math on their site, but most important of all, WNYC said that they showed their numbers to a Citi Bike spokesperson, who didn’t dispute any of them.
Not that it’s shocking that people decided to drop out of the system. If you’re gonna feel like a bit of a dork a big slow blue bike around the city, the surrounding elements like the docks and the payment systems should be working better than they do. There’s really nothing like slamming a Citi Bike into a dock in vain when you’re late to a meeting, or being baffled when your Citi Bike fob doesn’t unlock a bike that isn’t indicating is broken or otherwise not working. Also, like we’ve said about a billion times, it sure would be nice if the city had focused more on the outer boroughs where people have less transportation options.