Letter to New York City


New York’s Citi Bikes have begun rolling out around the city

Dear New York:

We here in Boston wanted to be the first to welcome you to the bikesharing club. It’s an exciting time for you, we know. We were curiously watching these “bicycle stations” get deployed around our city just two years ago. Like you, we didn’t know exactly what to expect. We had heard about their success in Europe, but that didn’t mean much to us. Those of us who were familiar with DC’s experience were excited and optimistic we’d see the same success they had.

It turns out we did. Hubway ridership continually eclipses projections. When the stations closed last fall for winter, we had complaints as people were forced to get around the city the boring way: walking, driving, or taking the T. There is discussion of keeping some stations open next winter, and we can’t wait!

What’s the big deal, you ask? Bikeshare transforms transportation in a city. Have you ever tried to get from DUMBO to Red Hook? Two bus connections and 45 minutes later you’re already thinking about how you’re getting home. Well, with Citi Bike, you can grab a bicycle, hop on the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway, and you’re there in 15 minutes. No sweat!

We know, it hasn’t gone smoothly so far. You’ve had some fits and starts. But trust us, it will be worth it. You don’t even know what’s about to happen to your city. You know how the main topic of discussion at every New York party is how you got there and how you’re getting home? Citi Bike is going to make things so much easier. It doesn’t close. There’s no traffic. It’s there when you need it and it’s super cheap.

Some of your more annoying residents are making a scene trying to obstruct Citi Bike stations. It’s not their fault. They don’t understand what’s happening either. But trust us, these same people complaining about stations in front of their business will be begging for them this time next year. That’s how it’s happened here and elsewhere. Just try to ignore them for now.

Finally, we also know that you fancy your five-borough home unique. No, you are, we get it. But in this you’re better positioned to realize the benefits of bikesharing. What Boston, DC, and New York have in common is that getting around is a pain. Bikeshare makes it easier. And more enjoyable. Plus, you have the best bicycle infrastructure of the three of us.

We’re actually jealous. But we’d never admit it. Enjoy your new toys, we can’t wait to come visit.

Yankees suck.

4 thoughts on “Letter to New York City

  1. KillMoto
    May 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    “But trust us, these same people complaining about stations in front of their business will be begging for them this time next year. ”

    Make those businesses that beg for a nearby bike share station pay. Not a lot – but something.

    Oh, not all businesses – only those who came out opposed to it initially.

  2. Grand Fenwickian
    May 6, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Loved the post until I got to “Yankees suck.” I’m not a Yankees fan, but that’s the go-to of an insecure and second-rate city, which is not the Boston I know (although that Boston IS parochial…but, then, so is New York). It’s also the go-to of a lazy blogger. Who will doubtless insist it s/he wrote it with tongue firmly in cheek. But that’s not how it comes across.

    Nice conceit, some decent points made, but, come on, people—let’s grow up.

  3. Rob
    May 6, 2013 at 11:38 am

    If anyone is bumming, it is the other banks — especially JPM-Chase. Chase had Citi on the run for brand recognition, with only a lonely outpost in Flushing for real brand recognition. And the proliferation of Chase branches due to corporate acquisitions made it seem like the last bank in town.

    Now Citi will be all over the city.

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