June 17, 2013
I'm a fan of bicycling, and the launch of Citi Bike here in New York is something I am still quite excited about! While the launch has had its share of glitches, it's really shaping up. Their blog has been giving daily statistics, and I thought I'd put them in a spreadsheet to see if anything interesting could be made. I've made the spreadsheet public in Google Docs in case anybody wants to do some additional analysis.
Some initial comments on the data:
On an unrelated-to-citibike-data-note, it is also humbling to see that even when CitiBikes are being used in record numbers, they are still far, far outnumbered by normal bicycles. Anyhoo..
- The average speed is calculated based on the total mileage counter, trip count, and average trip duration. After the first few days (whose data is a bit all over the place), it settles in at about 7.4-7.5 MPH. Do we think that their distance calculation is A) as the bird flies, B) bird-distance * cityadjustmentfactor, or C) they route most likely route in google maps? Probably safe to rule out C, and given the top speed of these things is probably around 15MPH, I'd say it's probably B (some 1.3x cityadjustmentfactor, or something).
- If we assume that the last 5 days worth of data on day and week passes hold steady (I know, unlikely, as factors such as season, initial buzz, conversion to annual members, and so on will affect things greatly), these will bring in $9.3 million and $2.2 million per year respectively.
- If annual members top out at 80,000 (a little under twice what it is now, I would say this is very conservative), that'll be around $7.6 million per year.
- It becomes apparent why they are called "Citibike" and also have Mastercard logos on them (as they ponied up something like $41 million and $6 million respectively -- I wonder if this is one time or per year).
- Hopefully annual membership will continue to grow well past 80,000, though, and presumably there will be extra revenue from late fees...
- I wonder what their operating budget is...
- OK discussions of money are sort of a bummer (not because of whether this is feasible or not, but just because talking about money makes me uncomfortable): the average trip length of 2-3 miles is pleasing.. 2 miles in a long way in Manhattan, glad to see people are making good use of the bikes!
If anybody makes any interesting graphs or correlations or extrapolations with that data, post 'em (or links) in the comments...