Forum Discussion

th's avatar
th
Resourceful Rider
21 days ago

Citi Bike Dock Issues: Need Better Reporting

I often find myself riding to stations that show available docks on the app, only to arrive and find

 none. Despite the app indicating available docks, the reality is often different.

For instance, at 1st Ave & E 68th St on July 2nd at 11:30 am:

The app showed six available spaces, but there were none. I suspect the valet left without updating the dock status. Several people were already waiting for a space to free up, while others left in frustration.

Here's another example in Midtown:

The app shows one but it's permanently unusable.

The app allows us to report bike issues using the wrench icon, but there seems to be no way to report problems with dock stations. Is there an alternative to calling customer service for this? Perhaps the Angel program could be enhanced to address this, supplementing the bi-monthly station inspections, or we could implement a feature to correct system data inaccuracies more easily.

Thanks.

4 Replies

  • SashaMetro's avatar
    SashaMetro
    Resourceful Rider

    It would be nice if the valets left the chains locked to something nearby that isn't a dock, rather than making one of the supposedly available docks effectively unusable. I had this experience once in downtown Manhattan at a station with (supposedly) one dock free, but blocked with chains exactly as in the photo, and didn't make the connection with the valets until seeing this post.

  • Jess's avatar
    Jess
    Bike Angels Team

    Thank you for sharing this painful experience here, th. I suspect that other Angels are just as frustrated when things like this happen. I've noticed an increase in Valet related questions in the community, and I plan to explore the overall valet x Bike Angels experience a bit more to provide recommendations or qualified feedback to the team and improved resources here for Angels. 

    I've also tagged this post as feedback, as we also have received critiques about the ease of reporting issues with a bike, dock, or station; and theoretically, these issues would affect Bike Angels more than the average rider. 

    • th's avatar
      th
      Resourceful Rider

      I highlighted this issue because I believe it will impact the algorithm's point calculation. When no dock stations are available, the immediate demand for dock stations could range from 1 to 100. Conversely, if at least one dock station is available, we can infer there is no immediate demand, as that one would have been taken. Such incorrect inputs to the BA model will affect the point calculations of nearby stations as well, ultimately causing the system to fail in its intended function. As the saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out."

  • Yes, the inability to report broken docks have always been a problem.  You also cannot report when a station is completely full and offline...where no one can park or borrow a bike.  One angel put colored duct tape on docks that were broken last summer for two reasons, 1. To alert Citibike that the docks were in need of repair and 2. So people would not kill themselves (or waste time) trying to jam the bikes into broken docks.  It was great for number 2 but the tech guys failed to remove the tape on the rare occasion that the docks were repaired.  Also, if you tell a Citibike representative who is replacing batteries that a station is down, they tell you that there is a different team and do not offer to report it directly to that team...which does not make sense at all.