Yesterday I wrote about NYC’s Citibike system, which I love, and said this:
There should be financial rewards for taking a bike from a kiosk that is completely full or nearly full and returning to a kiosk that is empty or nearly empty. There should also be a financial reward for docking an E-Bike in a kiosk where there are no E-Bikes or very few.
I got a ton of feedback via email and Twitter that Citibike already offers this via a program called Bike Angels that rewards riders for doing things like this. I know about that program but there are three big problems with Bike Angels that Lyft, the owner of Citibike, needs to fix.
1/ Bike Angels is not part of the core service, available to everyone by default.
2/ The rewards are too small. They need to be increased significantly.
3/ Angels is not a cash rewards program and you cannot take cash out of the system. It needs to be like Venmo.
Basically Angels sucks, but it is directionally correct.
If Lyft fixed all of this and offered attractive cash rewards for moving bikes and E-bikes around the system, it would be a game changer. But Bike Angels is not that. It is not even close to that.