Critics should probably give Citi Bike a full year to assess its finances, given the dramatic seasonal changes in revenue. The warm months invariably subsidize the cold ones in any city. But even if Citi Bike had a more profitable split between casual and long-term users, if it had no software glitches, no snowstorms, it would still be hamstrung in a significant way.
This graph, released Monday by the Rudin Center, makes the most compelling case yet that Citi Bike functions as public transit:
It shows a striking correlation in data from last September between the New York subway system and Citi Bike: As train delays increased, so did bike ridership among people who may have been looking for an immediate alternative.