Ride Ride Ride the CitiBike

header-logoCitiBike…taking up a good amount of space on the streets and sidewalks around downtown, midtown and uptown.  Taking up precious already limited parking spaces, sidewalk areas, and cluttering up space where we are already limited.  As we try to expand our sidewalk space, the CitiBike program now took it away from most major foot traffic areas.  But even though it takes up space, it is easier to get around the city. For a $9 a day fee ($25 for 7 day pass and $95 one year), you can ride the CitiBike for only 30 minutes to get to another CitiBike station (330 Stations available throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn). Cheaper than a cab ride, but more expensive then a subway/bus ride.  Is it worth it? I have to put the pedal to the metal to “check in” at another station within 30 minutes or else they will charge me another $4 for the next 30 minutes.  So these bikes aren’t necessarily used for the “scenic” ride. It’s really to get from point A to point B without getting hit by an NYC taxi driver. It’s also not required to wear a helmet, but “recommended”.

This whole system seemed very interesting at first. But when I saw the cost and the deposit they take out from your credit card, and how much it could be if you “lost” a bike, and all the fees and fees that CitiBike will charge you, I thought “no thanks”. The city pushed it to create less traffic and ease of travel in the city, which could be but for a nominal fee. And this is by a brand not pushed by the city because they couldn’t afford the whole program on their own. So is this really trying to make things better for the people in the city? Or just another way for a corporation to make money (and provide some of those profits to the city?).

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 12.37.49 PMFirst let’s take a look at how they are talking to us NYC citizens. On their blog they’ve created different “profiles” of riders of CitiBike as well as special staff members.  Also any new news that they may have (getting 5 million trips, statistics etc.). Which is linked to their content on Facebook. What’s different is that CitiBike isn’t just trying to sell their bike service, they look into events and the culture of  New Yorker and promotes themselves through it. Like their Weekend Guide of the Comedy Festival. They show where the different locations are and how and where the CitiBike stations are located so they can get to those places.  A good way to show how it could be easier to go from one show to another when the MTA doesn’t necessarily have direct transportation for attendees.

Their tone is of a New Yorker as well. It’s like reading a blog from one person that does everything for CitiBike which is relateable and unique. You are the “bike” provider of NYC, so you should be a New Yorker!

All in all, CitiBike is an alternate way to travel in the city for those frustrated public transportation travelers, or the Bike riding lovers who don’t want to get their bike stolen when parking it. CitiBike is trying to create good relationships with their people so that they can knock down the negative perceptions of this idea (see my first paragraph). But from my POV you won’t see my hopping on a CitiBike anytime soon.

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