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Citi Bike riders are probably more cautious than regular riders given the unfamiliar environment in comparison to New Yorkers who ride similar routes every day and know where and how to cut corners.

Women are more likely to ride bikes in New York City thanks to the city’s year-old bike-share program Citi Bike, suggests a recent Hunter College study.

The overall percentage of female riders increased from 9.5 percent in 2009 to 18.5 percent in 2013 in an observed section of the city.

According to the study, women account for a larger portion of Citi Bike riders (31.1 percent) than general non-delivery cyclists (23.6 percent).

The Hunter College study was conducted during from June to November 2013 and included observations of 4,316 people riding bikes at 98 different locations below 86th Street in Manhattan.

Habits of Citi Bike Riders Versus General Cyclists

The study found that Citi Bike riders, both male and female, were more likely to follow traffic rules and stay inside bike lanes than general cyclists.

Citi Bike riders, male and female, are significantly more likely to ride on a street with a protected or unprotected bike than than a street without either.

Type of Cyclist Street/Avenue Without Bike Lane Street/Avenue With Unprotected Bike Lane Street/Avenue With Protected Bike Lane
Male General 42.8% 45.7% 39.1%
Female General 11.6% 13.7% 13.7%
Male Citi Bike Rider 12.9% 15.7% 22.1%
Female Citi Bike Rider 5.2% 7.1% 9.9%
Male Commercial 27.5% 17.8% 15.2%

Citi Bike riders were also more likely to stop fully stop at red lights and ride solely in the bike lane than general cyclists.

Females across all categories were more likely than men to abide by the traffic laws.

Despite Citi Bike riders’ generally cautious approach to NYC bike riding, these cyclists were the least likely to wear a helmet.

This is due to the fact that helmets are not provided with the rentals so one-time riders like tourists are unlikely to have their own helmet or rent one for a few hours.

In general, the number of cyclists wearing helmets has grown significantly over the past four years from 23.6 percent in 2009 to 72.7 percent in 2012.


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Tags: citibike, nyc

Photo credit: A full CitiBike station sits in New York City. Omar Rawlings / Flickr

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