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These Are the Most Popular Citi Bike Routes by Age and Gender

By Nicole Levy | February 27, 2017 2:06pm | Updated on February 27, 2017 2:46pm
 A Citi Bike rider uses the Eighth Avenue cycling path.
A Citi Bike rider uses the Eighth Avenue cycling path.
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DNAinfo/Victoria Bekiempis

With 139 new stations and 2,000 additional bikes, New York's bicycle-sharing program saw a 40 percent bump in ridership last year.

Cyclists took 14 million Citi Bike trips in 2016, compared to 10 million in 2015 — but who exactly are these riders, and where are they going?

A new analysis of Citi Bike trip data, publicly available here, examines which demographics favor the 774 most popular travel routes with 1,000 or more rides logged on them.

For yearly Citi Bike subscribers, male riders took 75.6 percent of all rides in 2016, data blogger Walker Harrison found on his site perplex.city.

Cyclist ages 36 and younger took almost half of all subscriber rides last year, but the average rider for the majority of the city's 774 most popular routes was between 30 and 40 years old.

Citi Bike graphic

A graphic showing the demographic breakdown of Citi Bike ridership (Walker Harrison)

The most popular route among female subscribers in 2016 extended from the intersection at Broadway and West 29th Street to First Avenue and East 30th Street, with women making up 44.6 percent of Citi Bike cyclists on that stretch of road.

Men favored a path between the station at Dyer Avenue and West 42nd Street and the station at Third Avenue and East 58th Street. According to Harrison, an overwhelming 99.7 percent of subscribers taking that "stressful, congested ride" were men.

The route most frequented by the youngest riders, with a median age of 21, stretches between the station at University Place and East Eighth Street to the one at Third Avenue and East 12th Street. 

The trip bisects the East Village and New York University's main campus, "which makes it no surprise that it logs as Citi Bike’s youngest popular route," Harrison writes.

The path reporting the highest median age among riders — 53 — runs between docks at Penn Station and Park Avenue and East 47th Street.

But why would anyone want to cycle on the perpetually clogged streets of Midtown on a regular basis? We're as mystified as Harrison, who called the route "a bleak crosstown jaunt through one of the city’s busiest commercial districts," adding that "it doesn’t seem like it would be preferable for any demographic in particular."

Citi Bike tracks the origin point and destinations for all rides taken, but it requires only yearly members — not customers — to record their age and gender when signing up.

Subscribers represent 90 percent of all Citi Bike rides, Harrison said.

The program's ridership and subscriber numbers are likely to swell even more in 2017, as the city increases its bike fleet from 6,000 to 12,000 and installs docks in Astoria, Harlem, Prospect Heights and Crown Heights.

No word yet on how many Citi Bike users wear helmets while riding.