More Than 4,000 People Subscribed to NYC Bike-Share in First 24 Hours

It looks like demand for bike-share in New York is going to be intense. In the first 24 hours of membership sales, more than 4,000 people signed up for annual Citi Bike subscriptions, according to NYC DOT.

A recently installed bike-share station in Downtown Brooklyn. Photo: Stalin D'Souza

Comparing the first wave of subscriptions in NYC to other bike-share cities is tough, since the Citi Bike service area is much larger than the other networks, and other cities launched at different times of year. (Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC, is currently the largest bike-share system in the country, but it launched with only 49 stations.) Even taking into account the relatively large size of the Citi Bike service area, which will provide 6,000 bikes at 330 stations, the sign-up rate in NYC is off the charts so far.

A few figures for context:

  • Andrea Bernstein at Transportation Nation reports that about 2,000 people signed up for CaBi memberships in the entire month before the system launched in September, 2010. Citi Bike sold twice as many memberships in 24 hours. Total annual CaBi membership now stands at about 32,000, according to this District Department of Transportation tracker.
  • Denver’s B-Cycle, which launched three years ago and is now a 700-bike system, currently has 2,800 annual members in total. Citi Bike exceeded that number yesterday.
  • Hubway launched in Boston in June, 2011, and now has 1,000 bikes at 100 stations. In total, 7,400 people are annual members.

At last count, Citi Bike cleared the 4,300 mark by 11:00 a.m. today and was approaching 4,500 by noon. If you were an NYC pol, why would you ever want to mess with all these people who want access to public bikes?