In The News: BIXI Hits 500,000
Of course, raw ridership is only half the picture: other cities have substantially more (or fewer!) bicycles and stations than we do. A fairer idea of how often our system is actually used is the number of trips taken per bicycle per year. (More trips per bike = more widespread use of the system.) This measure is imperfect, but it's still more useful than raw ridership numbers.
And here's how we compare to other cities:
Washington DC: ~1083 rides per bike per year
London (UK): 900
*The systems in Montreal, Boston and Minneapolis close for the winter. I cannot account for this in my calculations (winter months experience substantially less [and different] ridership than the summer months, so I can't project from summer data or estimate what it might be.), so these figures will have to do, although they probably lowball actual ridership in these cities.
In essence, Toronto is in the middle of the pack: doing substantially better than Boston and Minneapolis, but London, Montreal and Washington are kicking our ass.
What do you make of this situation? Have you used Bixi? Are we getting good value for our investment? Is the scheme working? Are you satisfied with the results so far?