Notes from a talk tonight at the AIA-NY Center for Architecture by:
- Alison Cohen, President, Alta Bicycle Share
- Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC DOT Commissioner
Bolded content seemed particularly interesting or new to me.
- NYC bikeshare service area: 1.2 million live there; 2 million commute there
- 40% of Paris and Barcelona bikeshare trips are in conjunction with transit
- With 600 stations, NYC’s system will have 360,000 different station-to-station combinations
- DOT received 7,000 suggestions for station locations online
- Bikeshare is “not a Manhattan elite option.” Showed a map of NYCHA properties; emphasized low cost of system ($90 per year - this is lower than the $100 that had been talked about)
- Because credit cards are required for access, DOT is working with credit unions on a program to provide access for low-income unbanked populations, not unlike the Bank on DC program announced recently. DOT will announce such a program in next couple of months.
- Prominent messaging will be on the on bikes: yield to pedestrians, stay off sidewalk, ride with traffic, obey traffic lights.
- Spotcycle and similar apps are coming, as expected.
- One or two major private sector sponsors or two are possible. Announcement still forthcoming.
- JSK: We are “learning from London” on private sector funding and sponsorships.
- There are more bike lanes within the bikeshare service area in NYC than in London or DC.
- Hygiene is the first problem cited by JSK re: helmet loans when asked by an audience member. Boston partnered with CVS on this issue, since their stores are near-ubiquitous.
- Audience member asks: Will MTA MetroCards be compatible with the system? JSK replies: Probably never.
- Alison has not seen good studies so far to analyze impact of bike share on levels of motor vehicle travel.
- CDC is providing funding for Boston, Nashville and Chattanooga bikeshare…health is a big focus there, and may involve future studies.
- Talking about Public Bike Share Company, which provides the physical goods that make up the system (docks, bikes): “They’re like Boeing; we’re like US Air.” Alta is a service provider, she notes.
- Quinnipiac poll: 72 percent support bikeshare.
- Currently no system interoperablity (between DC, NYC, Boston, other systems), but they hope to have it eventually.
- Stations can be installed in less than an hour
- Capital Bikeshare is such a DC icon, CBS had a mini-station built on set for filming NCIS in Los Angeles. She notes that it only has three docks, so they can tell it’s not a real station.
- Unlike in DC and other cities, NYC bikes will have internal GPS, so city can determine popular bike routes. The data created by the system will be owned by NYC DOT, not Alta.
- Alta is working with Streetsblog and OpenPlans on making sure data is open and usable by external developers.
- There are some apps in development with innovative solutions such as rewards programs and routing options that reward users.
- The Living Social deal nearly doubled Capital Bikeshare membership. (Ed: Will they do something similar in NYC?)
- Ridership in DC peaked in July…later than expected.
- “We should have kept it on” in Boston this winter.
- Boston has more tourist usage than DC. Alison expects the tourist share in DC to go up once stations start opening on the National Mall. Alta expects a 50/50 split in NYC.
- Thursdays are lowest number for bikeshare ridership in DC and Boston. Unclear why.
- Average trip times for casual users (i.e., tourists) is 4-5 times higher than for regular users (i.e., locals) in DC and Boston.
- Boston has high weekend late night ridership when compared to DC. Audience member notes that this might be due to the T’s early closing time.
- London dug into streets to secure system, making changes to dock size and location difficult. NYC is more flexible, but Alison notes that they want to keep a station in place for at least a year before moving it. Treating it as transit, as something to be relied upon, is important.