Electrify Citi Bike: Supporting sustainable mode shift for NYC
Citi Bike's 4,000+ electric-assist bikes are loved by riders, are ridden 3-4X more per day on average than pedal bikes, and replace millions of car trips across NYC. Scaling ebike ridership however is limited by our current operational model. Manual battery swapping is simply less efficient than if ebike batteries were charged in stations while docked. Everyday, staff drive across the Citi Bike service area to perform battery swaps. We estimate electrifying a small portion of Citi Bike stations can grow ebike ridership through increased availability, while also creating a significant reduction in operational VMT, bringing an already sustainable transportation option even closer to net-zero emissions.
We will prioritize station locations within NYSERDA-identified disadvantaged communities, naturally occurring retirement communities, and alongside corridors most used by Citi Bike's low-income pass holders. Throughout the project, Lyft will work with NYSERDA to measure systemwide ebike availability, emissions and VMT) through our operational data, and ridership trends across specific geographies and demographics.
Our proposed solution will expand Citi Bike ridership, set best practices for operating ebikes at scale in a major bikeshare program, and provide career pathways in the burgeoning field of electrification. Lyft proposes a two-pronged approach of station electrification and community engagement to accomplish this. First, we'll improve ebike availability through on-site charging capability at strategic Citi Bike locations. Then, we'll work with AARP-NY, Urban Upbound, League of Conservation Voters, BronxWorks, and Bike New York to grow Citi Bike ridership, with specific programming that utilizes Citi Bike as a tool to access jobs, improve health, and empower riders in traditionally disadvantaged communities.
Success of this program is tied to increasing NYC's bike mode split and supporting the induced demand from the increased availability of ebikes. Over a three year period, we believe this approach will grow Citi Bike ridership, in particular, making significant progress on shifting the 51% of vehicle trips in NYC under three miles that could be served by micromobility onto ebikes. In addition to CO2 emissions reductions from shifting vehicle trips to ebikes, we'll reduce Citi Bike's operational vehicle miles traveled (VMT) (from ebike battery swapping) by significant margins.
Longer term, we also anticipate this project will support the City's ambitious mode-shift goals, helping to generate more trips by bike throughout the larger region. This project will also help NYCDOT hit its target of 1 in 10 trips being taken by bicycle by 2050.