I used 1.35 as the projected rides/bike/day figure in my Cruzer Bikes proposal, a figure which I grabbed, more-or-less, from Capital Bikeshare’s original projections. It would have been useful to have a list of rides/bike/day for various Bike Share systems across the U.S.
I’ve put together a quick compendium of ridership figures from major bike share programs across the U.S. I’ve included only those for which I could find ridership estimates, and indicated my sources. I couldn’t find 2012 ridership estimates for several, or any ridership estimates at all for several other large-ish systems (Kansas City, Nashville, Chattanooga, Charlotte, and Long Beach, NY… mostly southern cities… hmm. I suspect the figures would be pretty poor if they were available.)
The numbers for bikes and stations are approximations, in that the numbers typically increase over the course of the year. I tried to take some reasonable averages — e.g., if there were 90 bikes for most of the year and 130 in the final couple of months, that’d go down as 100 in the table. I rounded some numbers off. And I tried to figure how many days the system was in service over the given time period, which also required some estimates.
Sorry for the horrendously ugly table. The free version of WordPress doesn’t play nice with tables.
|where||launch date||year of stats||nth year||stations||bikes||days||rides||rides/bike/day||source|
|Miami Beach, FL||Mar-11||2012||2nd||115||1000||365||1,291,000||3.54||source|
|Washington, DC||Sep-10||jan-june 2012||2nd||187||1500||182||935,000||3.42||source|
|Denver, CO||Apr-10||2011||2nd||50||510||217||203,000||1.83||source (pdf)|
|Madison, WI||May-11||2012||2nd||30||290||258||63,300||0.85||source (pdf)|
|Boulder, CO||May-11||2011||1st||13||100||220||18,500||0.84||source (pdf)|
|San Antonio, TX||Mar-11||2011||1st||14||140||275||22,700||0.59||source|
|Broward County, FL||Dec-11||2012||1st||20||250||180||15,200||0.34||source (pdf)|
|Chattanooga, TN||Jul-12||jul-dec 2012||1st||30||300||180||12,600||0.23||source|
- Smaller systems don’t do as well (in daily rides per bike). This is pretty understandable — a small system has less network value. If the system doesn’t go where you need to, you can’t use bike share. This will be especially true if you’re trying to compete with the automobile in a relatively spread-out city (e.g., San Antonio and Broward/Ft. Lauderdale).
- Younger systems don’t do as well. Several of the low-performing systems were in the pilot phase. There is a clear trend of increasing ridership over time within systems, as well. (This is not shown in the chart above, of course.) Bike share systems take some time to be mature and “normal.”
What does this mean for Cruzer Bikes? I suspect that it means 1.35 daily rides per bike is pretty optimistic for the first year, though pretty plausible for the 2nd or 3rd year — though this is likely only true if the system has decent coverage. And I still think 4 (or above) is a reasonable long-term target, keeping in mind that Capital Bikeshare is still growing quickly by this metric.
02/12/13 EDIT: data for the Chattanooga system added to the table. I may try to keep this up-to-date for a little while.