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Data: Citi Bike a popular NYC commuting choice

Citi Bike is considering raising its prices to

Citi Bike is considering raising its prices to push its business through difficult times. Credit: Getty Images, 2013

Citi Bike is certainly on a roll.

Since the bike-sharing service launched last Memorial Day, users have taken more than 6.5 million rides and logged more than 12 million miles. The blue bikes, which are located across half of Manhattan as well as northern Brooklyn, have remained a consistently popular transportation option even during the awful weather the city endured recently, according to Citi Bike data.

An average of 9,256 trips a day were taken from Dec. 21 to Feb. 16, racking up an average 13,871.07 miles a day, according to the data.

The program's advocates and transportation experts said they were surprised and excited to see that the blue two-wheelers have become a commuting mainstay so quickly -- even in adverse weather.

"The New York minute isn't a joke. They want to get where they're going fast and they want to get there on their own terms, so Citi Bike is a great answer," said Caroline Samponaro, senior director for campaigns and organizing for the bicycling advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

The only day that Citi Bike had fewer than 1,000 rides was Feb. 13, when a nor'easter threw 9 1/2 inches of snow at the city. And even on that day, cyclists managed to take 909 rides and log close to 5,600 miles.

On other days of freezing temperatures and harsh snow, riders were out in even stronger numbers, according to the stats.

On Jan. 3, when temperatures reached only 18 degrees, there were 1,230 Citi Bike rides taken, for a combined 1,919 miles.

The city's transportation department said the average number of daily rides exceeded 10,000 for the first two months of 2014.

Sam Slaton, a spokesman for bike advocacy group Bike New York, said the consistent ridership demonstrates the power of bike sharing and helps New Yorkers embrace bicycling as a viable transportation option.

A key to the program's success, especially during the winter, is that riders can get to their destination more quickly than by taking a delay-prone subway or cab, without the worries of owning a bike, Slaton said.

"For anyone below 59th Street and in Brooklyn, Citi Bike might be the only way to get around. With Citi Bike, you just take it, ride it, and you don't have to maintain it or clean it," he said.


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