Bike Share Programs Continue to Grow in Popularity and Impact


The bike share industry has continued its trend of incredible growth in 2017. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials there were over 28 million bike share trips taken in 2016, a whopping 25 percent increase over the prior year.

There are now over 55 bike share programs in the United States up from just four in 2010. Bike share is becoming a fundamental part of urban transportation networks in cities across the nation.

Motivate operates nine of these systems: four of them are responsible for nearly 80 percent of the bike share trips taken in the U.S. last year: Citi Bike in New York City, Divvy in Chicago, Hubway in the Boston metro area, and Capital Bikeshare in the D.C. metro area.

Riders on Motivate systems took nearly 24 million trips in 2016, averaging 65,753 trips per day, and racking up well over 50M miles. For comparison, the busiest railroad in North America, the Amtrak Northeast Corridor, saw about half as many trips in FY 2016, with 11.9 million.

Bike share is a vital part of urban transportation networks, providing a new commuting option, complementing and in some cases supplementing transit.

  • People use bike share to get to work: 
    • 65 percent of CaBi members, 50 percent of Citi Bike members and 42 percent of Divvy members reported this was a primary way they use bike share.
    • Personal appointments and social engagements are the second biggest reason that people report using bike share.
  • Bike share provides an important connection to transit: 
    • Seven in ten (71 percent) respondents used Capital Bikeshare at least occasionally to access a bus, Metrorail, or commuter rail; 18 percent used bikeshare six or more times per month for this purpose.
    • 36 percent of Divvy members report using Divvy to get to another form of transit often. Over 75 percent of Divvy members report doing so at least occasionally.
  • Bike share also helps supplement the urban transportation network, enabling trips not well-served by other forms of transit.
    • About one third of Divvy members say they use Divvy to take trips they would not have made before.

Bike share is contributing to the urban economy by saving individual members’ money, by supporting local businesses, by contributing to the tax base and by providing good, green jobs.

  • Bike share members save money on transportation costs. 
    • On average, each Capital Bikeshare member saved $631 per year on personal travel cost.
    • On average each Divvy member saved $754 per year on personal travel cost.
    • On average each Citi Bike member saved $814 per year on personal travel cost.
  • Bike share riders are more likely to patronize small businesses near bike share stations.
    • 80 percent of CaBi members, 68 percent of Divvy members and 69 percent of BIKETOWN members reported they are more likely to patronize businesses near bike share stations.
  • Bike share membership sales generate sales tax– improving the economic outlook of cities.
    • Citi Bike has generated over $4.5 million in sales tax since Motivate took over its  operations, creating a much-needed source of additional revenue for New York City.
  • Bike share programs create jobs. Motivate employs nearly 900 people during its peak season. These jobs pay above living-wage, include opportunities for growth within the industry and related fields, and are part of the new “green collar” economy. And as bike share grows so do the jobs. 
    • Ford GoBike will create more than 200 jobs in the Bay Area by the end of 2018.
    • Citi Bike employs 450 people during peak season. This number continues to grow as the system expands.
  • Bike shares are helping to build a more sustainable future:
    • Motivate received a generous investment from Generation Investment Management, a respected, international investment fund that supports businesses with environmental sustainability as part of their DNA.
    • Across all Motivate systems, riders offset nearly 30M lbs (13,438 metric tons) of carbon, significantly reducing each city’s carbon footprint.


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