Solutions

As one of the largest bike share programs in the nation, Citi Bike has about 12,000 current bikes, 720 stations throughout New York City, Jersey City, and New Jersey in 60 neighborhoods[1]. Launched in 2013, Citi Bikes are used daily by city dwellers as well as tourists in the area. The main partners of the firm include Citibank, as a title sponsor, MasterCard as a founding sponsor and healthfirst as their wellness partner.[2] The company became so popular that by August of 2014, the system has surpassed 20 million miles travelled on the bikes. Today, the company celebrates five years on the market and with over 143,000 members to the system.

Citi Bike sells the service of providing readily available bikes to city people who have the problem of getting places too slowly or inefficiently. They solve this problem by providing a service that is solemnly dependent on the rider. Unlike Lyft, Uber, and other car services, they deliver a fast and more sustainable alternative that allows the individual to reach their destination at a faster, feasible, and sustainable way. Every day city dwellers and tourists are affected by traffic and highly priced rides. This is because of congestion in the city which makes traffic move slowly, ranking up rates of taxis or sitting too long in a car. Citi Bike solves this problem by allowing the individual to have conveniently available bikes at kiosks. Unlike cars and car services, this product is more efficient, sustainable, healthier, and faster because you don’t have to sit in stand still traffic. Individuals are able to exercise their way to their destination at a cheaper rate.  

For this to be a successful product, in which we have seen that is has been, there was a need for a customer base to be interested in getting places faster and more efficiently and know how to ride bikes. Ways to advertise this product may include adds on social media sites including Snapchat and Instagram, along with TV commercials encouraging people to get out and ride bikes to get to their destinations. The benefit of participating in Citi Bikes for the customer includes having a mode of transportation easily accessible and the ability to get to places quicker rather than by foot or in standstill traffic.

In order for the company to continue its growth, individuals who already participate in the program or want to participate in the program must be interested in living a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Participating in this program allows one to be more sustainable by decreasing their CO2 output, or “carbon footprint” while at the same time getting places faster in an enjoyable manner. Those who are involved in the program share the value of healthy and ecofriendly living. Biking is not only a way to exercise, but it can be a quicker way to get places when traveling long distances throughout the city. Individuals using the bike share program are exercising in an innovative and fun way.  

The intended social impact of this company is to get people excited about biking places rather than sitting in a car in traffic in congested areas of a city. To acquire this social impact, there must be social change of diverging from vehicle-based travel to environmentally friendly biking. The development of bike lanes in cities also encourages bike users to continue their practice while showing others that bikes can be a more economical way to get places. To increase the use of bikes and the bike share movements, one thing companies can develop is rewards systems. Rewarding an individual that has used the app for a number of miles get to travel the next hour or three miles for free. That way it incentivizes individuals to continue using the app and set personal goals to meet as to how many miles to bike.  

Along with any good idea and intended goals, companies like Citi Bike will face some unintended consequences. With the popularity of bikes rising, riding services like Uber and Lyft might decrease in services, putting people out of jobs. This not only affects the driver’s livelihood, but also impacts those who will be driving on the roads in the city. Another unintended consequence is that sometimes when arriving at a post, there might not be a dock available to set a bike down or even a dock with any bikes at all to pick up. This is a flaw in the Citi Bike plan that can be solved by dockless bikes around the city. In addition, a positive unintended consequence in the rise of popularity of the Citi Bike is the reduction of CO2 emissions and the positive environmental impact that comes with it. Unfortunately, big oil companies would be opposed to this system and be one of the biggest resistors in the movement.

Key resistors to the bike movement might impact the success of the company. But if consumers overlook the subsidized economy that fossil fuels are currently in, they will be investing in a lifetime of cleaner products. Oil companies are the biggest resistors to the bike movement because as the bike shares continue to pop up in major cities, they are losing customers. Specifically to Citi Bike, some of their major competitors might include other bike share programs that could offer better incentives and prices, or dockless bike shares in which the issue of finding a dock is dissolved. Fortunately, Citi Bike has acknowledged this issue and has gone dockless in the Bronx[3]. To tackle another issue that customers might face, that is, of the exercise involved in biking, Citi Bike also offers electric bikes. On the mobile app, one can find where the dockless, electric, and regular bikes are located based on icons[4]. The app offers a fairly easy layout in which the individual can navigate the site with ease. Tackling some of the biggest issues faced with the company as well as resistors is how Citi Bikes remains popular and a fan favorite when it comes to navigating NYC.

Investing in the Citi Bike program allows the customer to use high quality, technologically advanced bikes that they would not have had the opportunity to use otherwise. Keeping the quality of their products up to par and making sure that they are offering their customers the best product available is how their support system continues to grow. Also, having hundreds of kiosks available allows the consumer to easily pick up and drop off a bike at their convenience. Citi Bike should have a way in which they communicate with their consumer on how many miles they have ridden and promotions they can offer to entice the customer to continue using their product. This can be done by sending out emails or text alerts after riding a certain number of miles. For effective updates or program offers, the best way to contact their consumer is by email. Keeping a constant connection to the consumer allows them to feel like their company cares. Allowing consumers to respond to surveys on how the company can improve is also a way in which they can improve a consumer-industry relationship. Overall, the Citi Bike is a great innovative idea to promote sustainability, health and efficiency. As more bike share programs pop up in urban areas, the more sustainable our future will be.

[1] Motivate International, Inc. “Citi Bike: NYC’s Official Bike Sharing System.” Citi Bike NYC. Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.citibikenyc.com/?extole_zone_name=share_experience&promotable_code=footer&channel=other&extole_source=footer&extole_campaign_id=6423825339262238618&extole_labels=6423825339262238618.

[2] Motivate International, Inc. “Citi Bike Partners & Sponsors.” Citi Bike NYC. Accessed November 13, 2018. https://www.citibikenyc.com/partners.

[3]Motivate International, Inc. “Dockless.” Citi Bike NYC. Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.citibikenyc.com/how-it-works/docklessbronx.

[4] Motivate International, Inc. “Electric.” Citi Bike NYC. Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.citibikenyc.com/how-it-works/electric.

 

Citi BIke dock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York
Citi Bike app allows users to see how many bikes are at a docking station and gives direction to wanted destination.