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  1. #26
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    I had my first overage charge today, for a 50 minute ride. I went to run an errand crosstown during lunch, and even though I got the green light when I docked, I couldn't take another bike out upon completing my errand. Tried calling tech support then, but I could not get through at all. When I checked my trip status on my phone, I saw that my previous trip had not closed. I ended up walking a little bit to get to the bike I'd ridden on the first leg, and taking that back to work.

    It'll cost me $2.50--I'm sure I could get it waived, but not sure that the time spent on the phone is worth it.

    Aside from that though, the bikes have been great. I've taken them out on short errands and I love how much time they save me. I can pretty much have lunch anywhere in lower Manhattan now, instead of only at places that are within a 15 minute walk.

  2. #27
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I plan to join, too, without knowing how much I'll use it. I own several bikes, but I love this program. I'm lucky that I'll be living within the service zone. I hope they extend it farther north than 60th St.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  3. #28
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Experiencing some growing pains apparently. Yesterday I attemted to remove a bike from the dock and was unsuccessful. I tried several other bikes and no luck. Another guy at the same bike dock had the same problem - neither of us could use our key card to unlock a bike. When I got home i called customer service and they informed me that I still had a bike out from that morning. "Uh no - that was returned to the dock at Liberty St". I am certain I returned it properly (ie: got the green light indicating a succesful return) and told them as much. He acknowledged there were still some software issues and he said he would update my profile to indicate that the ride was completed within 45 minutes and that I should now be able to take out a bike. Well this morning I wasn't biking due to the weather but I logged into check my Trip Library and it still showed an open trip from yesterday. I got on the phone again and spoke with a customer service rep. He offered the same thing - closing out the ride - this time I had him wait on the phone while I refreshed the screen and sure enough he was able to close out the open ride from yesterday. Supposedly I will now be able to take a bike again but that will have to wait until Monday most likely given the weather today.

    So - a bit frustrating but it was resolved without too much hassle.

  4. #29
    Pug
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    Any one know what happens if you get a flat? Do you just walk the bike to the nearest station and get another one? I didn't see this addressed on the FAQ.

  5. #30
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug View Post
    Any one know what happens if you get a flat? Do you just walk the bike to the nearest station and get another one? I didn't see this addressed on the FAQ.
    I imagine that's the only thing you can do at that point. I probably need to get the app that shows where the bike docks are just in case this happens or I arrive at a dock with no empty spots (dropping off) or bikes (picking up).

  6. #31
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Okay - this is the 2nd day that I've had issues with the citibike program. Upon trying to remove a bike this morning the docking station would beep but not light up or release a bike. Other bikes at the same dock would do the same or not even beep. I finally went to one bike and kind of bounced it in frustation and it released without ever having insert the key. Ooops. Completed my commute and at the docking station where I returned it the first dock would not accept the bike . Uh oh. The second spot I tried in the same rack did accept it with the green light indicating a successful return.

    I logged in to check my trip history and it never even showed up. They have same pretty serious software issues they need to straighten out apparently....

  7. #32
    vol
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    (Posted this here on Sunday night then moved it over to the A&S forum, but seeing we have traffic here now, I'm moving it back to this forum where it should belong. Sorry for the stupid "inconvenience", but I really want to share experience. )

    Today (Sunday) I took a visiting relative for a ride in Manhattan, him on Citi bike, me on my own bike. Great experience! We accessed the Citi bike at least 7 times throughout the day. The first kiosk we went to had a blank screen, not working. At another station, the only bike there couldn't be undocked. Otherwise, it's be a simple process. The only nuisance (and a big nuisance for tourists) is having to watch the time and rush to find a station before 30 minutes ran out. Our city tour today was not as relaxed because of this. Hope they add more stations along popular bike paths such as the East River Greenway and Hudson Greenway. At one station near the Battery Park there was a long line waiting, with some folks really s-l-o-w to go through the buttons to get their first pass. We waited for what must have been at least 15 minutes, almost giving up as we might be late to a dinner invitation.

    I highly suggest putting more than 1 kiosks at the stations that are at popular locations, to reduce waiting lines.


    Another suggestion is to raise the height of the Citi bike sign at each station, so that they can be visible from afar for those looking for them. Several times today I was looking around to find a station when the station was only steps away, and I failed to see it.

    Observations:

    a) If it's a fine weather weekend and a station is full of bikes, likely the kiosk is out of order.
    b) If there is only one bike left at a station, that bike may have some problem--maybe can't be undocked.

  8. #33
    vol
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    flattie, is it possible you were actually returning the bike for someone else? Maybe someone didn't dock it properly before you took the bike out.

  9. #34
    Senior Member flattie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    flattie, is it possible you were actually returning the bike for someone else? Maybe someone didn't dock it properly before you took the bike out.
    I suppose that's possible. I met another citibike user at a light and he asked if I had issues getting a bike this morning. I told him yes and he said he had to walk to another bike dock to get one. I asked him which one gave him issues and it was the same one I just had the problem with. When I docked the bike at my destination I called bikeshare and gave them a run down - they thanked me. This afternoon I had relatively speaking a much easier time. At drop off the light stayed orange for a long time. I finally resolved it by using my key to unlock it - despite never the light staying orange the whole time - and then I really slammed it into the dock. That got me a solid green indicating a successful return right away. So in short upon returning the bike the light turned orange but never went to green. I could not remove it from the dock. I tried for a minute or two and finally resorted to using me key again to unlock and re-dock the bike.

  10. #35
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    I tried taking one out yesterday with my free pass, except that it never actually gave me the code to take one. It took all my information, my credit card, told me that I was given a credit, but I waited, waited... then it went back to the main screen. It was a very slow process even if they'd given me the code. In the meantime, 2 people with keys came and went without any problem.

    Either they were having software issues, or they need to speed up the checkout process.

  11. #36
    vol
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    Too many steps in the initial purchase. The last step asking the user to obey traffic rules is unnecessary since the same reminders are printed on the bike.

  12. #37
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I've been using Citibike NYC this week while in midtown on business. I love it. Have not encountered a problem so far, knock wood. I come to NYC several times a year and am thinking about buying an annual membership. I can save my company some money by avoiding a few cab rides and staying in different hotels, while having some fun.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    I am both a driver and a cyclist, but I have to say this bike program is just another nail in the coffin for those of us that need our cars to do whatever it is we do. Under Mayor Bloomberg, driving in this town, both in Manhattan and the outer boroughs, has become a living hell. The addition of literally thousands of traffic obstructions that he has added in his 3 terms has brought this town to nearly a standstill at nearly all times of the day. Traffic lights, often mistimed, speed bumps, stop signs, 4 way stop signs, red light cameras, no turns at certain hrs., bike lanes, bike parking stations and painting and coning out full lanes making them unusable for anyone and just funnels traffic into less lanes has led to a nightmarish ride for motorists all over NYC. Even trying to be a good cyclist by following the traffic laws will lead you to having to stop at nearly every corner in the city. Not fun for anyone.

    Just last night my wife and daughter tried to go from Queens to Newark NJ for the Bocelli concert, a total of about 12 miles, and it took 3 hrs. 3 hrs.!!! All due to the useless funneling of traffic through Manhattan.

    Mayor Doomsberg is a non-driver and always has been. He doesn't have a clue as to what it is like to drive in this town or what it's like to have to make your living by driving. I can only hope that our next Mayor has a license and uses it so he can see just how unbearable the situation has become...
    Last edited by Giacomo 1; 06-13-13 at 09:54 AM.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    I am both a driver and a cyclist, but I have to say this bike program is just another nail in the coffin for those of us that need our cars to do whatever it is we do. Under Mayor Bloomberg, driving in this town, both in Manhattan and the outer boroughs, has become a living hell. The addition of literally thousands of traffic obstructions that he has added in his 3 terms has brought this town to nearly a standstill at nearly all times of the day. Traffic lights, often mistimed, speed bumps, stop signs, 4 way stop signs, red light cameras, no turns at certain hrs., bike lanes, bike parking stations and painting and coning out full lanes making them unusable for anyone and just funnels traffic into less lanes has led to a nightmarish ride for motorists all over NYC. Even trying to be a good cyclist by following the traffic laws will lead you to having to stop at nearly every corner in the city. Not fun for anyone.

    Just last night my wife and daughter tried to go from Queens to Newark NJ for the Bocelli concert, a total of about 12 miles, and it took 3 hrs. 3 hrs.!!! All due to the useless funneling of traffic through Manhattan.

    Mayor Doomsberg is a non-driver and always has been. He doesn't have a clue as to what it is like to drive in this town or what it's like to have to make your living by driving. I can only hope that our next Mayor has a license and uses it so he can see just how unbearable the situation has become...
    I'm curious as to what you do that requires a car in Manhattan ?.

    Generally, what we don't need is more cars, so encouraging the use of private autos in NY, and I pretty much mean all of Manhattan as well as many area's of Queens and Brooklyn, is not desirable long term and that's how the city is thinking - long term. Remember that part of the need is to get fewer cars with single drivers in the city core area, out of that area and is oriented to reducing air pollution. My current pet peeve is there ARE entirely too many traffic lights at intersections that don't need them where stop signs would suffice. Idling engines pollute and they need to reduce that. Why do you think we have "air alert days" on hot days in the summer ?, where do you think most of that pollution comes from ?, vehicles. Moving towards hybrids and electrics should be encouraged.

    NYC is also one city that could stand to benefit from "congestion pricing" - fees generated for bringing a private vehicle into Manhattan during peak usage times Many Euro and Asian cities do this with good results. It weeds out the idiots that can't find another method to get around. As well, the fees generated help to improve the infrastructure for everybody. Many of the so-called initiatives you mention were started earlier then the Bloomberg administration, he just had the foresight to push them to the front burner.

    " bike lanes, bike parking stations and painting and coning out full lanes making them unusable for anyone", well no, then make them usable to cyclists. Since you are a cyclists, I'm puzzled as to how you don't see these as good things ?. And I'd just as soon see traffic enforcement camera's at every damned interchange in the entire NYC area !. Slow the moron's down and maybe stop some of the carnage.

    And as BTW, I've car commuted from Long Island to mid-Brooklyn for 32 years, so know a bit about traffic. All I've seen is more cars adding to the congestion. Adding infrastructure that allows more cars does not solve the problem, only makes it worse.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 06-13-13 at 10:57 AM.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    I'm curious as to what you do that requires a car in Manhattan ?.

    Generally, what we don't need is more cars, so encouraging the use of private autos in NY, and I pretty much mean all of Manhattan as well as many area's of Queens and Brooklyn, is not desirable long term and that's how the city is thinking - long term. Remember that part of the need is to get fewer cars with single drivers in the city core area, out of that area and is oriented to reducing air pollution. My current pet peeve is there ARE entirely too many traffic lights at intersections that don't need them where stop signs would suffice. Idling engines pollute and they need to reduce that. Why do you think we have "air alert days" on hot days in the summer ?, where do you think most of that pollution comes from ?, vehicles. Moving towards hybrids and electrics should be encouraged.

    NYC is also one city that could stand to benefit from "congestion pricing" - fees generated for bringing a private vehicle into Manhattan during peak usage times Many Euro and Asian cities do this with good results. It weeds out the idiots that can't find another method to get around. As well, the fees generated help to improve the infrastructure for everybody. Many of the so-called initiatives you mention were started earlier then the Bloomberg administration, he just had the foresight to push them to the front burner.

    " bike lanes, bike parking stations and painting and coning out full lanes making them unusable for anyone", well no, then make them usable to cyclists. Since you are a cyclists, I'm puzzled as to how you don't see these as good things ?. And I'd just as soon see traffic enforcement camera's at every damned interchange in the entire NYC area !. Slow the moron's down and maybe stop some of the carnage.

    And as BTW, I've car commuted from Long Island to mid-Brooklyn for 32 years, so know a bit about traffic. All I've seen is more cars adding to the congestion. Adding infrastructure that allows more cars does not solve the problem, only makes it worse.
    New Yorkers pay the most for driving privileges in the country yet we get absolutely nothing for our money but obstructions, potholes, mis-timed lights, patched-up streets, expensive gas and 3 hr commutes to go 13 miles. From our insurance, registration, inspections, tolls, gas etc., nobody pays more to get less, and you think we need to tax drivers yet again? And you tell me I should leave that ridiculously expensive car at home and not get my money's worth out of it and take the subway when all dressed up at 2AM or pay $100 for a round trip cab to Queens?

    I bet you didn't like that "commuter tax" much when you commuted into the city did you? Well, as a NYC resident, I think you should be taxed to the hilt. You use my resources and clog my streets. If it wasn't for suburbanites coming into my city, driving here would be a pleasure and we could have as many bike lanes as we want. You want to live in LI, then get a job in LI, or you should be taxed! Heavily! Touche...

    Yes, more camera's, more infringement, more BIG Brother!!! Bring on the drones to! That's the answer! We'll get those morons, because of course, you've never, ever been a moron and sped or blown a yellow, have you? Bloomberg would love you!

    Business is not done off the back of a bicycle, it's done by people in all types of business's being able to move around the city in a reasonable amount of time. By the way, I never take my car into Manhattan during peak hours, but I can no longer even get through the outer boroughs in decent time anymore...
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  16. #41
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    How is the city responsible for tolls, registration, inspection, insurance and gas? For example, is there a city gas tax? Are inspection and registration charges not set by the state as they are in PA? Does the city assess or affect tolls? Does it set and/or regulate insurance rates?

  17. #42
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    How is the city responsible for tolls, registration, inspection, insurance and gas? For example, is there a city gas tax? Are inspection and registration charges not set by the state as they are in PA? Does the city assess or affect tolls? Does it set and/or regulate insurance rates?
    The city is actually very responsible, for the high costs of everything here. Sometimes not directly, but they get a huge piece of all the money motorists pay.

    There are 8 different gas tax's here, some of which are state, but most are city, hence the high price for gas here. Insurance is through the roof in the city, because the city cannot protect cars from theft and the cost of litigation here is tremendous, so the city being unable to protect our cars and keep the the cost of litigation down plays a big role in the costs. The city gets a big part of the tolls here for road building, road repair (yeah, right!) and the subways get a big chunk to. So they have have a say in that too.

    I can actually live with all of that, but please stop treating us like pariahs, like we're the problem. Stop obstructing us, stop the over-control, and just give us our monies worth...
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  18. #43
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    The Bocelli concert started at 8. Regardless of when you left, you hit the crosstown traffic and B&T congestion leaving Manhattan at the peak of rush hour. When has it ever been quick or easy to travel through Manhattan by car at the peak of rush hour? Three hours honestly doesn't surprise me. It's taken me 2 hours to get through the Holland Tunnel from downtown (granted, on a summer Friday when everyone else is leaving the city). Getting crosstown and into a tunnel or onto a bridge at rush hour has always been a nightmare. There's not really any way to make it faster. This isn't a bike issue, it's a capacity issue.

    And I'm curious where you ran into bike infrastructure trying to get crosstown from Queens to one of the tunnels. Certainly not if you were going W'burg or Manhattan to the Holland or the MTT to the Lincoln.
    Last edited by Needs; 06-13-13 at 01:55 PM.

  19. #44
    Senior Member Giacomo 1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Needs View Post
    The Bocelli concert started at 8. Regardless of when you left, you hit the crosstown traffic and B&T congestion leaving Manhattan at the peak of rush hour. When has it ever been quick or easy to travel through Manhattan by car at the peak of rush hour? Three hours honestly doesn't surprise me. It's taken me 2 hours to get through the Holland Tunnel from downtown (granted, on a summer Friday when everyone else is leaving the city). Getting crosstown and into a tunnel or onto a bridge at rush hour has always been a nightmare. There's not really any way to make it faster. This isn't a bike issue, it's a capacity issue.

    And I'm curious where you ran into bike infrastructure trying to get crosstown from Queens to one of the tunnels. Certainly not if you were going W'burg or Manhattan to the Holland or the MTT to the Lincoln.
    Don't mean to blame the bike infrastructure for all of the woes, because capacity and all of the new traffic regulations and obstructions are the main issue, but taking out lanes and parking and making sanitation pickup slower for bike lanes and their stations, is taking a toll on an already bad traffic situation city-wide.

    By-the-way, my wife made it to and across the Williamsburg Bridge in only 20 minutes, which meant that it took nearly 2 hours to get to and into the Holland. Not a traffic agent or cop in sight. A 13 mile trip in 3 hrs. Ridiculous. Luckily Andrea only got on stage at 8:15, as my wife and daughter were just sitting down.

    Sorry for my rants, I didn't mean to hijack this thread...
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  20. #45
    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    Moving towards hybrids and electrics should be encouraged.
    +1000
    Riding on the otherwise nice Fifth Avenue the most bothersome is the overwhelming emission from the buses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    And you tell me I should leave that ridiculously expensive car at home and not get my money's worth out of it and take the subway when all dressed up at 2AM or pay $100 for a round trip cab to Queens?
    Suppose that for health reason you don't smoke. You join friends in a bar that charges everyone $xx for drinking and smoking, regardless if you actually do drink or smoke. Are you going to smoke just because you have paid for it?

    Back to Citi bikes, again...if they read these forums...I hope they make a very tall sign at each station so people can find them more easily. Some stations are very close to each other (like near W. 34th street), but I was not aware of one's existence while at another one.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
    Don't mean to blame the bike infrastructure for all of the woes, because capacity and all of the new traffic regulations and obstructions are the main issue, but taking out lanes and parking and making sanitation pickup slower for bike lanes and their stations, is taking a toll on an already bad traffic situation city-wide.

    By-the-way, my wife made it to and across the Williamsburg Bridge in only 20 minutes, which meant that it took nearly 2 hours to get to and into the Holland. Not a traffic agent or cop in sight. A 13 mile trip in 3 hrs. Ridiculous. Luckily Andrea only got on stage at 8:15, as my wife and daughter were just sitting down.

    Sorry for my rants, I didn't mean to hijack this thread...
    Giacomo, I'm just actually surprised that you cannot understand the logic that making it easier to drive a car, means more cars, which then makes it harder to drive. Always been the truth, regardless of how much whining the AAA does. More cars in NYC are not the answer to the area's transportation problems. Bikes are part of the solution. The CitiBike program helps with that problem.

    And DO NOT complain to me about your taxes, which are typically a small percentage of what the suburbanite pays. NYC real estate taxes for homeowners are typically so much lower then in the suburbs. A $300,000 house in NYC is taxed typically at about $3600. I pay 3 times that. And I for one, had no problem with the city charging a commuter tax, it was such a minuscule amount to begin with as well as a tax deduction. I am all for paying to support the infrastructure, which a portion of my taxes to the State of NY does in any event (including to NYC). So every time you leave the city to drive ANYWHERE else, how about just staying home instead, we don't want the citiots out here anymore then you want us in the city.

    If I worked somewhere else in Brooklyn, I'd commute by mass transit. I happen to be at least 1:40 or so by LIRR and Subway, so mass transit is not really a good option. Plus I work late nights and weekends, so chose to live where I do so as to allow use of a car to get to work. If I worked in Manhattan, the LIRR would be the best - if expensive, option. But I certainly would not drive. And the bottom line is you choose to live in a congested metro area and choose to drive, so too friggin bad, suck it up and deal with it, it's your choice as well.
    Last edited by Steve B.; 06-13-13 at 04:59 PM.

  22. #47
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    This thread has been hijacked by a rant. Let's keep this about Citibike.

  23. #48
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I am curious if anyone has information about Citibike's projected operating expenses and revenue, and what sort of ridership it needs to reach to be financially viable?

    I know the system is advertised as being entirely privately funded, that Citigroup is a $41MM for 5 years sponsor and Mastercard at $6.5MM for ? years sponsor. We can all look at the Citibike blog and see how many memberships and passes they have sold. I'm coming up with about $3.8MM in annual memberships sold so far, 24-hour and 7-day passes being sold at the rate of about $0.6MM/month, so I figure that Citibike will have rider revenue of at least $7.8MM a year. Is that rider revenue, plus the annual sponsorship revenue, enough to keep the system going?

    I read somewhere that Citibike employs 200 locally. I imagine those are mostly bike mechanics and rebalancers.
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  24. #49
    Ridin for the sweat
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    I for one see this as a good program for having 24/7 access to a bike. Also good for those who don't own bikes as well.

    As a Poster on here said, she uses the bikes to go get lunch when she can, that is a good idea for me as well, I haven't sign up yet, but that idea has made it more tempting. I should look into the daily passes.

  25. #50
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I came up with a WAG of $15MM/yr to run Citibike, based on 200 lower-paid employees and guessing 30 higher-paid employees plus rebalancing vehicles and renting a central facility.

    I then found this -

    http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/resources/...ey-Bicycle.pdf

    Which says $1,700-2,000/operating cost per bike per year as a rule of thumb. About 6,000 bikes in Citibike, I think, so call it $12MM/yr. Ehh, it's New York, so figure higher. But I still think the actual Citibike budget must be available online.

    I believe a major factor is how much rebalancing you have to do. If the city is hilly, people will use the bikes to go downhill but not uphill, so more employees will have to load bikes in vans and drive them to the uphill stations. Capitol Bikeshare says the majority of its operating costs is rebalancing. Manhattan is flat, so maybe that helps a bit?
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