Monday, September 16, 2013
Bike Shops are Struggling Due Citi Bike Share Program
Cyclists are happy about the new Citi Bike sharing system, unfortunately however, city bike shop owners say that the program is one of the reason they are struggling to draw in customers and keep business going.
"It has decreased our rentals and our sales of commuter and low-end hybrid bikes, probably by about 50 percent," said Echelon Bikes owner Daniel DeNigris.
"Citi Bike being right down the block this way, really like 500 feet away, and then up in Madison Square Park, it's kind of crushed really a bunch of my business," said Zen Bikes owner Josh Keoshgerian.
Keoshgerian says his shop and others were a big part of pushing the city to build infrastructure like bike lanes to make the city cycling friendly.
However, he's also selling fewer less-expensive bikes, his repair businesses is down 30 percent and his rental business has been decimated.
"People might have come in and rented a bike, see what we were about, rented a bike that we sold, and we often used to sell off of these bikes, because it's a very popular model. People would rent it and then be like, 'How much is this bike?' and, 'It rides so great.' So, that's gone," Keoshgerian said.
Sid's Bikes in Chelsea is having a positive results, according to them the interest in Citi Bike has resulted to an increase in business.
"Showing people that it is kind of safe to ride in the city and then they say, 'I can branch out and get my own bike maybe and ride around," said Sid's Bikes Assistant Manager Jon Tumas.
One aspect of the business that appears to be booming for every bike shop is accessories, particularly helmets.
"We have definitely sold more helmets," DeNigris said.
"Our helmet sales have more than doubled with the Citi Bikes being introduced, especially with the Citi Bike coupon. It's having people, you know, they save a little bit of money, $10 on a helmet," Tumas said.