Despite the Tough Ride, CitiBike Reputation and Popularity is On its Way Up

CitiBike, which just reached its one-month mark, is one of the most controversial programs New Yorkers are talking about right now. Citibank, headquartered in New York, launched the bike service just a month ago and has received abundant criticism for a wide range of problems from safety concerns to lack of insurance to taking up street parking.

On June 12th, the New York Times ran an article: “2 Weeks In, Bike-Share Program Is Hitting Snags.” However, today, it seems that the media have changed their tune. Just yesterday, the Huffington Post declared, “CitiBike – The Perfect Marketing Campaign.”

All in all, the program is working. While it’s been anything but seamless, the service is so popular that it has had negative consequences on independent bike rental programs. According to the one month report card, there have been half a million trips, a million miles traveled and 113,692 subscriptions.

So why is it so popular? Its benefits are outlined succinctly on its website…1000s of bikes. 100s of stations. Self-service. Efficient to use (you can even plan your trip on its app). Sustainable.

What’s not listed on the website is that it’s also inexpensive. A 24-hour pass is 10 bucks, 7-day is $25 and an annual membership is $95 (all plus tax). While use is expected to drop after the summer, it will be interesting to see the effects of this program on the Citibank brand.  

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