Just before the snowstorm, Citi Bike replaced several stations on 78th Street and Riverside Drive that had gotten rusty. No, it’s not exactly breaking news, but interesting to see the speed with which the system deteriorates and then is replenished. Thanks to Sara Sprung for the photos.




And after…


NEWS | 36 comments | permalink
    1. Cato says:

      Your tax dollars at work!

      • pbc2016 says:

        Isn’t Citi bike still 100% privately funded?

      • TaxpayerMooch says:

        Better for this than paying schoolteachers’ pensions.

        • EricaC says:

          Why? Is it a distaste for teachers? For pensions? For economic security for public servants?

          • Rick says:

            Some people aren’t big on the whole idea of sanctity of contract. Put another way, they want people and institutions to keep their word when doing so inures to their benefit, but otherwise not so much.

          • ScooterStan says:

            Re: “Is it a distaste for teachers? For pensions? For economic security for public servants?”

            Perhaps, but it is also:
            1) part of the ‘New Right-Wing Nastiness’ given new energy by the “election” of Herr Trump;
            2) the jealousy of people who work without the protection and support of a union helping them obtain “entitlements” like medical coverage and retirement-with-financial-security; and
            3) the ingrained belief that unionism is somehow socialist/communist and anathema to the “cowboy-every-man-for-himself” undertone of American culture.

            The “X-spurts” tell us that the American middle class is disappearing. One reason is that unions in this country are disappearing…except for public employees, WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR PENSIONS VIA PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS created by their union leaders through Collective Bargaining.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            yup, of all the things to be angry about in the US, where we have vast wealth inequalities and a cabinet now full of multi-billionaires — it is that public school teachers get modest pensions. What an injustice!!

            what is going on in the mind of someone who can make this sort of comment? does he or she really hate teachers so much?

      • Sara sprung says:

        Even if it were tax payer funded, getting people moving and out of taxis subways and busses is a Great thing…

    2. mamaebbes says:

      There was also a shipment of brand new bikes delivered to the Amsterdam/73rd Street location within the last week. They were either cleaned or brand new because they were shiny right out of the truck.

    3. Mary Carol Rudin says:

      What are the facts on actual bike use?
      Reasonable physical fitness and decent weather is required.
      Is this program really serving the city?
      I thought there is a law requiring a bike helmet. But I don’t see an evidence that a person renting a citibike is required to have a helmet
      As a NYC tax payer I don’t want to pay for Citibikes

      • ATC says:

        there is no law for a bike helmet for adults. Only children.
        NYC law has it that you need lights and a bell. I know Citibike has the first and I’d assume the second.

      • Alta says:

        -All riding data is posted publicly on their web site
        -Yes, and sort of
        -No such law exists
        -You don’t, it’s not tax payer funded.

    4. Paul RL says:

      Why wouldn’t these stations be made with stainless steel or aluminum to prevent rust? I’m no metallurgist, but I play one on WSR.

    5. the_the says:

      These were installed less than a year ago. The private company that owns/runs citibike isn’t getting very good value on these hubs if this is typical.

    6. robert says:

      They and their cheerleaders keep going on and on about the % increase in riders and the % increase in revenue. Great but….. when you increase from 1 to 3 riders a day you can say your ridership is up more than 100%. You also say the same thing for revenue, but…… revenue is not income. They are still loseing mony hand over fist, based on their taxfilings. They have no sign of being profitable. The reason those bikes and bike stations are getting rusty is that the bikes are not be used in the numbers expected and/or projected. Note that the bike stations south of 57th street almost all now have 3rd part advertising on them to get extra cash in. They haven’t expended their advertising to the UWS yet as these installations are new and they don’t want more blow back. Take a look a the racks themselves they are already sporting energy etc drink adds in the low 80’s, with more intrusive adds to come. Then they will say if you don’t want more adds, think what payphone kiosks have become, give us city $$$ to bail us out. The idea of bike shares was sold to the NYC public, based on a false idea that it could pay for its self. As a side note the program is quietly being shopped around for a deep pocketed corporate sponsor. The owner that but the basically bankrupt system is looking for a way out.
      It is a big public/private secret with the people that put ideas and $$ together here in NYC. They have made a pitch to a firm o have worked with. Think asset managers looking for an investment that can be used to generate losses to offset other gains.

      • EricaC says:

        That is too bad. It would be a real shame to lose it. Bicycling is good for the environment, and for people. It isn’t practical for a lot of people with the crowding on the streets, but it would be great if it could build and there could be more dedicated places for people to commute on bikes.

      • Chuck D says:

        I love Citibike.

      • Jay says:


        Please provide a link to any source you have for this information.

        I’m guessing you won’t rush to get that to us…

        • robert says:

          NYC, NYS Fed tax filings for Citibike LLC,
          as a corp the are public documents. But their numbers are merged into the totals for Motivate International that list them as an “affiliated company”

      • This is some of the most ridiculous fiction I have ever read.

        Look, just cause you hate bikes and bikers, etc. doesn’t give you the right to just spew nonsense….all your little agenda with no sources, no articles, no facts, nothing.

        So, thanks for your opinion…you know what they say about those…

        • robert says:

          I actually stopped and asked the crew working on the other sites they had to fix on RSD. Apparently when the moving parts in the mech. parts of the stations are not used much they tend to “seize up” when I asked what that meant they said “rusted”

      • joe says:

        Most tech companies that you love (or hate) also do not make a profit. The new economics of today don’t require that a business actually “make money.”

      • Margaret says:

        Right, the smaller the base number, the higher the percentage increase. Citibike ridership of 14 million rides in 2016 was a 40% increase in use over 2015.

        As a taxpayer I would be thrilled to support this as a public amenity, if it comes to that. It’s currently the only US bikeshare system that is not supported with public funds. For now, Citibank pays $28 million a year to put their name on Citi Field, and $7 million a year to support Citibike. For perspective (or obscene and absolutely unconscionable misuse of funds, depending on how you see it), $7 million is about what we city taxpayers are currently spending every two weeks for city-paid Trump security. You must be up in arms about those outflows.

      • Woody says:

        So you’re saying that they intentionally want to generate losses just because they make money in other ventures? I’m perplexed how losing money benefits anyone when you end up with less money. Business decisions are not based on creating a new tax loss to offset profits.

    7. AnDee says:

      Think people are overestimating the amount of degradation – you have no idea how long the old stations were in use elsewhere, when they were painted last. Surely these will be reinstalled elsewhere as they cycle through their inventory of stands. Bridges get painted all the time too folks; they just can’t take them back to the shop for a little spiffing up.
      And here are some interesting facts about the increase in ridership (most salient to me being on average each day the same number of people use a Citibike as take the Staten Island ferry, so it has become an integral part of the City’s transportation infrastructure):

      • robert says:

        Great PR from the LCC press release about the number of riders, but notice they don’t talk about how much $$$ they are doing

    8. Edith says:

      I don’t understand the animus against Citibikes. If you don’t want to use them, then don’t use them. But why complain about them being available for other people to use at no expense to you?

      • Walter Jacobsen says:

        Thank you for your comment, Edith – finally a voice of reason!

      • robert says:

        Take look in lower Manhattan at the ads that are now on the stations and the kiosks where you pay. They really are an eye sore. The adds have been steadily moving north. Think of how bad phone booth look. They also have placed them in several odd sites. For example on WEA the have them set up to that you pill the bike out towards the traffic flow, not towards the buildings. There have been several accidents already as people pull the bile out to get it clear of the station. Both drivers and bike need to pay more att. to this hazard.

        Personal I could leave or take Citibike. Its just that its a goodie to a very small section of the cities population. I would like any $$$ that might go to these small number of users to go to something vastly large numbers of us use mass transit.

        • Jay says:

          You may think it’s an eyesore, but I think most would disagree. I think it’s a sign of progress. If you are against advertising, then you must have a hard time walking anywhere. So, I’m not sure what your complaint is really all about other than shaking your fist at the sky.

          Even if Citibike is not ‘profitable’, so what? Neither is the MTA, bridges/tunnels, or any other public service. Making a profit isn’t the goal. You either want tax money to go towards this public service or not. I am happy a private company can do this one while the MTA focuses on things they already can’t handle.

          • dannyboy says:

            “If you are against advertising, then you must have a hard time walking anywhere.”

            Jay, people who don’t want additional advertising in public property don’t necessarily have a ‘hard time walking anywhere’. Perhaps it’s that we love our neighborhood.

            At the last CB7 Transportation Committee Meeting, Howard Yaruss announced that Motivate has been invited to the next meeting to provide an update. I wonder if he’ll let us know about the advertising program.

        • Woody says:

          The same could be said of public swimming pools that are used for just a few months a year by a small number of people.

          I’m certain I can find more examples.

        • Zulu says:

          I would like any $$$ that might go to these small number of users to go to something vastly large numbers of us use mass transit.-Robert

          I would like any $$$ that might go to the purchase of ultra expensive fashion designer bags in the city to go towards kid’s education.

      • RK says:

        It’s Citibike Derangement Syndrome, a disease related to BLHD (Bike Lane Hatred Disorder) and FOCC (Fear of Change Complex). I think it’s spread by the Fairway rats. Or the 84st street mosquitoes.

        There are ads on buses, cabs, pedicabs, subways, bus stops, and pretty much everywhere else. I’m not sure why Robert thinks ads on Citibike stops are a bridge too far. Especially since the whole system is an ad for Citibank anyhow.

        Makes as much sense as the rest of his irritating ranting.

        I guarantee you that the bikes and equipment on UWS are not rusting due to misuse. Try to find a bike during rush hour, and note the full racks at other times. And all the tourists. And the increasing use of bike lanes by citibikes. Like I said, derangement.

        Programs like Citibike aren’t really expected to turn a profit for quite awhile. The demand is clearly there, and they are still in massive expansion mode just 2 years after Motivate started, so I wouldn’t be concerned with lack of short term profits.