NYC comptroller report says Citi Bike is unreliable, calls for more equitable service

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, November 15, 2023
New comptroller report calls Citi Bike unreliable, docking station availability among reasons
Lauren Glassberg has more on the report's findings.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There is a new scathing report about Citi Bike out from the New York City Comptroller's Office.

The bottom line is that it says service across the five boroughs is unreliable.

The report from Brad Lander analyzed data from last June and July.

READ THE FULL REPORT: Riding Forward: Overhauling Citi Bike's Contract for Better, More Equitable Service

It found that some riders can't return their bikes because docking stations are full while others show up to completely empty stations or find broken bikes.

The report says the worst service affects mostly Black, Latino, and low-income communities.

Some of the worst problems were found in Brooklyn, including Sunset Park, Flatbush, and Crown Heights.

The Bronx, meanwhile, had higher rates of unusable stations compared with other boroughs.

Despite its setbacks, Citi Bike continues to grow in popularity. Thirty million trips were logged by riders last year, a five-fold increase from its 2013 launch.

Lander recommends the city overhaul its contract with Citi Bike's parent company Lyft and create performance standards with financial incentives to ensure riding a bike is easy, convenient and reliable.

Citi Bike is disputing the report's findings. In a statement, it said a two-month sample wasn't comprehensive enough.

Citi Bike also says that in September and October, the Bronx had the second-highest access of all boroughs.

For its part, Lyft said the Bronx had a high incidence of theft which has since resolved and bike availability there is now way up.

"Citi Bike is the fastest growing transportation system in New York City's history and we are in the final stages of an expansion that has more than tripled its size. A larger service area and unprecedented ridership, all in the wake of a global pandemic and shifting commuter landscape, have brought new challenges that require creative solutions. Reliability is our highest priority, and we work hand-in-hand every day with our partners at DOT to ensure that Citi Bike can best meet the growing demands of all of our more than 1.5 million passionate riders. We look forward to reviewing the report and sitting down with Comptroller Lander to discuss his findings," a spokesperson for Citi Bike said.

Earlier this month, it announced plans to more than double its fleet of electronic bikes to meet surging demand.


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