Citi Bike Carries More Riders on Fewer Bikes Than London Bike-Share

The gray and black lines represent Citi Bike average weekday and weekend ridership, respectively. The red, orange, green and blue lines represent different years of Barclays Cycle Hire average daily ridership. Image: Oliver O'Brien

Five months after its launch, Citi Bike is already moving more people than its larger, more established sister program in London, according to an analysis by University College of London researcher Oliver O’Brien.

Using data feeds from Citi Bike and Transport for London, O’Brien calculated the average number of trips taken on both systems during weekdays and weekends each month. New York, which pulled even with London’s peak usage in July, has been ahead since August, despite having fewer bikes available. Citi Bike, which by O’Brien’s count has approximately 4,500 bikes in circulation (counting bikes out of circulation, the system has about 5,700), is smaller than Barclays Cycle Hire, which O’Brien estimates has 7,600 bikes in circulation.

This means Citi Bike is clocking about seven trips per bike per day. O’Brien speculates that London might once again pass New York during the winter, which tends to be milder in London — but we’ll let the numbers be the judge of that.

Bike-share ridership isn’t the only place where New York is ahead of London: After a number of cyclist deaths on its modest “cycle superhighway” routes, Mayor Boris Johnson has shifted gears and begun installing physically protected bikeways. He dedicated the first of London’s new protected bike lanes this week.