New York’s Citi Bike program rang in the new year with some exciting news. The bike share network, which allows users to rent one of 7,500 bikes at 460 stations around the city, logged in more than 10 million trips in 2015 (more than any other bike share program in the country) according to an announcement from the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio. The famous blue bike program has spent the past several years rapidly expanding its bike network, and has plans to continue that growth in 2016 and beyond.
Thanks to the high-tech systems that manage the bike rentals, we know that the 10 millionth Citi Bike trip of the year was taken at 1:08pm on December 31, marking “an all-time high for annual ridership of any bike share system in the United States.” Perhaps without even realizing it, the rider for that historic trip also automatically entered a sweepstakes, and won a one-year Citi Bike membership plus three gift memberships. Reaching the 10-millionth ride milestone in 2015 sets a new record of 2 million trips higher than in the previous record. That record was set at the end of 2014, when just over 8 million trips were logged for the year – 8,092,952, to be exact.
Citi Bike reports that ridership increased by 24 percent in 2015, including seven days on which ridership exceeded 50,000 trips. The success of the bike share program can be attributed to the joint efforts of Motivate (the company that actually manages the bike share program) and the Department of Transportation, which aids in outreach and planning for the bike network.
“The improvements we’ve made to the system have drawn more and more New Yorkers to Citi Bike as a fun and healthy way to get around the city,” said Motivate President & CEO Jay Walder in a press release. “Citi Bike is committed to growing this program, to bring people to more and more places, and to continue to make the rider experience even better every day.”
When compared to other bike share programs of a similar size in other cities, New York City’s accomplishment seems even greater. London and Mexico City are New York’s closest peers in the bike share realm, with 10,000 and 6,600 bikes respectively, but neither of those cities has yet been able to announce a 10-million ride milestone in a single calendar year. London’s Santander Cycle Hire missed it by a whisper, as estimates round out 2015 with 9,943,074 trips. Mexico City’s EcoBici program logged 8.85 million rides last year.
The Citi Bike program continues to expand in New York, adding new stations in neighborhoods that aren’t currently served. The program is expected to surpass 12,000 bikes and over 700 stations by the end of 2017.
Images via NYC DOT/Flickr