Transit Sam reviews CitiBikes, week of June 12, 2014

Downtown Express file photo by Jefferson Siegel.

Thurs., June 12 – Wed., June 18


It’s been one year since I last reviewed bike share. Now, after nearly 100 rides here’s my updated review:
1. The bikes are holding up reasonably well. The seats are cracking and look like they won’t make it another season. The brakes and tires seem fine. The gears occasionally slip. I give the bikes themselves an A-.

2. I’m not much of an app user but a common complaint is the CitiBike app is often inaccurate as to the number of bikes available or docks open. A lot of the time, broken docks are still reported as available. Apps: C.

3. Most of the time I have a hiccup on either taking a bike out or returning a bike. Neighbors complain about the noise of riders having to shove their bikes in hard and multiple times till (if) it catches making noise around the clock. Docks are often broken. Docks: D+.

4. Tourists seem to be having a really tough time using CitiBike. I often see them on the phone with the “help” desk. Tourists: D.

5. Notifications from CitiBike are inconsistent. I only learned my subscription was up when I went to a few stations and couldn’t get a bike released. I saw an email in my spam folder that arrived the same day! However, other users report better luck and have received timely renewal emails. Notifications: C.

All in all I remain a loyal user and have renewed for another year. I certainly hope the city finds a way to make this financially viable for an operator. I just think the current operator could do a much better job. Overall grade: C.

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 15! If you are travelling into Lower Manhattan to be with dad, be prepared for delays – the Manhattan-bound Brooklyn Bridge will be closed all weekend. Beginning midnight on Friday, June 13 through 6 a.m. Monday, June 16, all Manhattan-bound lanes will be closed for 54 consecutive hours. Take the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, or the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel instead.

FASTRACK repairs on the F line mean no F trains at Broadway-Lafayette St., Second Ave., Delancey St, East Broadway, and York St. from 1 p.m. to 5 a.m. Thursday and Friday nights. F trains will be rerouted via the A line in both directions between W. 4 St. and Jay St.-MetroTech.

Several bridge closures are scheduled for the evening of Thursday, June 12. One tube of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel will be closed Thursday, June 12 from 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. Friday morning. In the Holland Tunnel, one eastbound tunnel lane will be closed from 11 p.m. Thursday, June 12 until 5 a.m. and one westbound tunnel lane from 11 p.m. Thursday until 5:30 a.m. Friday.
In the Lincoln Tunnel, inbound traffic will be diverted to local streets Thurs., June 12 from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday morning. The Manhattan-bound south tube will also be closed from 11 p.m. Thursday night till 5 a.m. Friday. The outbound helix will also be closed from Thursday night 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. Friday morning. Hence, more traffic at the Holland.

Chambers St. will close between Broadway and Church St. on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

One lane of northbound West St. (9A) will be closed between Canal and Clarkson Sts. from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday night through Thursday morning and 10 p.m. Thursday night to 6 a.m. Friday morning. These closures will continue regularly through June 23.

Email your traffic and parking questions to transitsam@downtownexpress.com.

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