Bike Share: Does it impact bike stores?

Since bike share opened in NYC two months ago, I have been tracking its statistics: Over 3.5 million miles travelled with over 1.5 million trips, lasting just over 15 minutes for an average trip of distance of 2.4 miles. This is just under a very respectable 10 mph in city traffic.

Another statistic I could be tracking is the hundreds of times I and my staff have been asked, “Has CitiBike has affected your business?” It has!

Ridership increases daily. Data Source: Citibike

Ridership increases daily. Data Source: Citibike

When Citibike launched, I researched bike share effects on similarly located bike stores in other cities. From the numbers reported back to me, bikes businesses usually experienced a decrease of 5 – 15%.

We have seen pretty similar results. Before bike share, our Soho store had been down about 4%, due to a rainy summer. (This number was on par with sales results nationally. It was a rainy and cold spring.) After the launch of bike share, that number is now closer to 9%.

The categories most affected are our urban bikes, Linus and Daily bikes, as well as the “on-the-spot” repairs – flat tires, wheel trues, etc – and of course, rentals.

There is also good news in what I learned. In every case, after the decrease, the business bounced back in about six months, and a new, greater bike culture emerged in their cities.

I think there is no doubt that bikes are booming in our city and our bike culture is past the tipping point. Every week, bike share clocks enough miles to circle the globe 11 times, or make a trip to the moon.

We believe in bikes, for the long-term. They are good for our city, they are good for congestion, they are good for our quality of life.

This is a great time to be a cyclist in NYC and it is getting better.

Charlie McCorkell
Bicycle Habitat

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About bicyclehabitat

New York City's neighborhood bike store since 1978
This entry was posted in Advocacy, Bicycle Habitat and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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