Citi Bike’s Growing Pains, In 5 Charts

The bike share’s annual memberships have proven more popular than expected, putting a financial strain on the widely used but troubled program.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that New York City’s sprawling bike share program, Citi Bike, is in a deep financial hole, allegedly hemorrhaging tens of millions of dollars.


The transportation initiative presents an interesting friction: On one hand, it is very, very popular with annual subscribers; on the other, its infrastructure is weighed down by a snowballing confluence of failures, from a faulty pricing model to an over-reliance on private contractors that may have been in over their heads.

To that end, Citi Bike is in all likelihood too large and too entrenched to disappear anytime soon. Yes, it is too big to fail. But just how big is it? On Monday, Citi Bike released a fascinating new system dataset that should give us a clearer indication of how it has fared through a challenging winter. In the slideshow above, we’ve teased out some of the more interesting data sets and provided some notes for context.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.