Citi Bike riders can opt-in to share anonymized usage data with Citi Bike through a beta feature called Ride Insights. In cases where this aggregated, anonymized data can help improve bicycling infrastructure, bike safety, and bike share planning, we will share that information with engineers and planners within the New York City Department of Transportation.
Why would I want to share my ride data?
Citi Bike riders take millions of rides each year in New York City, which is home to the largest network of bicycle lanes in North America. By sharing the routes you’re taking, you’re helping us empower City officials with key insights on route decisions that bikers make each day as they navigate NYC. These insights can lead to safer streets and more bicycling infrastructure.
What is shared?
Once you opt into Ride Insights, the Citi Bike app will use your phone's location to record the route you take between your starting and ending Citi Bike station. By aggregating route data, we will start to see patterns of rider behavior along specific streets and avenues. According to the NYC Department of Transportation, New York City's bike network has already increased by nearly 300 miles just in the past five years. Data analysis from Ride Insights may help further improve bicycle infrastructure in the city.
How do I turn on Ride Insights?
To turn on Ride Insights, open the Citi Bike app, go to the Menu, tap Map Settings and turn on “Ride Insights.”
When does the Citi Bike app record my route?
When you remove a bike from the dock, the app begins recording your route. When you dock your bike, the app stops recording any location data after that point. If any data is collected before or after your ride is in progress, those data points are discarded and not saved.
If I don't use the app to unlock a bike, can you still record my route?
Yes, the app can still record your route even if you don’t open the app. You must be logged in, have Ride Insights turned on, Push Notifications enabled, and on iOS, Location Services permissions set to "Always Allow."
Do I need to have Push Notifications turned on for Ride Insights to work?
Yes, you must have Push Notifications enabled, because this is how our servers inform the app that a ride has started or ended.
Do I need to have Location Services turned on for Ride Insights to work?
Yes, Location Services must be enabled to record your route. In order for the app to automatically start and stop recording, you must select access method “Always Allow” on iOS. On Android, if you've already allowed Citi Bike to use your phone's location service, no additional actions are required! If you’d rather not share your location with us, no problem – just keep Ride Insights turned off and we won’t record any routes you take.
Do I need to choose "Always Allow"?
Yes, choosing "Always Allow" will allow the app to start and stop recording your route without any effort on your part (except for the biking, of course)! This means you never have to take your phone out of your pocket. If you choose "Only While Using App," your route can only be recorded if your app is open when you unlock your bike.
Why did I get a pop-up saying Citi Bike has been using your location in the background?
When Location Services is set to “Always Allow” a warning message appears a few days later asking for confirmation of that permission. However, location data is only collected when your Citi Bike ride is in progress.
Will I know when Ride Insights is tracking my location?
Yes, you’ll see a solid location icon in your nav bar in iOS and a small bike icon in Android when we are recording your location.
What if I want to stop sharing my ride data?
You can turn off Ride Insights at any time – just go to “Map Settings” in the Citi Bike app menu and toggle “Ride Insights” to the off position. After turning off Ride Insights, the app will no longer record any location data.
Does the app show me when it’s recording my data?
On iOS devices, a location icon will appear in the status bar of your phone when an app is using your location while in background.
Can I see a map of the routes I’ve taken?
Not currently, but this is something we’re thinking about! If you’d like this feature, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know why.
What is meant by “providing better distance for your rides”?
With Ride Insights enabled, we can now calculate your trip distance based on the actual route you rode. Without Ride Insights, trip distance is based on our best estimates.