Walking the Walk

Urban design from the front lines

Kevin Klinkenberg

Using urban design to make our lives more enjoyable and create wealth

This site is for all those interested in the making of cities and towns, and especially the lives of the humans that inhabit them. Kevin Klinkenberg is an architect and urban designer who's practiced from coast-to-coast. 

Bike share is too cheap, ctd.

From the Wall Street Journal regarding the financial troubles of Citibike in New York:

Photo by the Associated Press

Photo by the Associated Press

One issue is that Citi Bike has proved more popular than expected with annual users who generate comparatively little revenue. Some 99,000 people pay $95 a year plus tax to be able to use the bikes for 45 minutes at a time.

The potential for far greater revenue, however, is with short-term users. Many of those were expected to be tourists, and they haven't used the bikes nearly as much as officials had anticipated, people familiar with the matter said.

A 24-hour pass costs $9.95 plus tax and a seven-day pass costs $25 plus tax. Purchasing short-term passes has proved difficult due in part to balky kiosks that accept payment for the bikes and computer glitches.

As I wrote previously, the financial model for bike sharing needs to be adjusted. It's actually a premium service that should be priced accordingly. If not, it will not be sustainable as a service, which would be bad news for everyone concerned about creating walkable places. $95 annually in New York City is too cheap.