To: Department of Transportation and Jeremiah Moss
Ignore the Petition to Move the Citibike Station near Frank's Bike Shop
We love Frank and we love Jeremiah, but please ignore that other petition and leave the Citibike station at Grand and Henry.
Why is this important?
Recently Jeremiah Moss posted a petition to move a Citibike station farther away from Frank's Bike Shop.
We are fans of both Jeremiah's excellent blog and Frank's excellent shop, but believe Jeremiah's petition is based on incorrect assumptions about Citibike's and Frank's business models, and will ultimately do nothing to help Frank, because:
1. Frank sells, services and rents bikes and accessories. Those of us who rent from him (including the authors of this petition) do so for a full day (or longer) excursion--to ride with family, or visit Governor's Island, or take a leisurely ride around the city. Frank provides locks, child seats and other accessories that Citibike does not and cannot provide and charges far less than Citibike if you want to keep the bike for the whole day.
2. Citibike provides bikes for point-to-point rides of 30-45 minutes or less from one Citibike station to another. It is intended to replace or supplement walking, mass transit and taxis as a way to get around Midtown and downtown Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. You can ride a Citibike to work, the store or the movies and not worry about it getting stolen. You can take a different mode of transportation home. But you can't take a Citibike to Governor's Island without racking up massive charges, you can't take a child on a Citibike, and you really shouldn't leave a Citibike anywhere other than a Citibike docking station as the cost to replace a lost or stolen Citibike is exorbitant.
3. Very few people headed to Frank's shop will change their minds about buying, servicing or renting a bike simply because they see a Citibike station nearby. And for the handful of people who might change their minds, moving this particular station away from his shop will not prevent them from encountering a Citibike station, as there are Citibike stations everywhere (including at least one between Frank's shop and each of the nearest subway stops).
4. Frank has the opportunity to capitalize on the nearby Citibike station by expanding his accessory offerings. We hope he will sell more helmets, lights and biking-appropriate bags and clothing as a result.
5. Citibike has the potential to significantly increase the normalcy and safety of biking as a means of transportation in New York City, expanding the pool of people who want to buy their own bikes and who need to get them serviced.