Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bike Angels: Will Incentivizing Its Membership to Rebalance Solve Hell's Kitchen's CitiBike Shortage?

After enduring another year of empty CitiBike stations in Hell's Kitchen (particularly during the morning commute), it's heartening to see Motivate try something new: gamifying their rebalancing operations with a program called Bike Angels. CitiBike is basically bribing users to move bikes out of full stations and park them in empty stations.

This is how CitiBike members earn points:

Full Station  → Empty Station  = +2 pts
Full Station  → Any Other Station  = +1 pts
Any Other Station  → Empty Station  = +1 pts

And here are the prizes, with your points tally resetting every 2 weeks:

10 Points = Raffle entry for chance to win $500 Gift Card
15 Points = 1 week membership extension + Raffle entry
20 Points = 2 week membership extension + Raffle entry
25 Points = 3 week membership extension + Raffle entry

On the Bike Angels site is a guide to empty and full stations in the AM and PM and the Hell's Kitchen stations are notably empty during both periods.

Maybe an enterprising Hell's Kitchen resident will realize he/she can earn 2 points every morning by moving a bike just a couple of blocks.

How Much will Bike Angels Cost CitiBike in Lost Membership Fees?