If you see someone zipping around New York City on a Citi Bike, disobeying traffic laws and running red lights without a helmet, chances are that someone is male. That’s because Citi Bike users are overwhelmingly male, reports the New York Times, noting that “women take about a quarter of all trips by Citi Bike riders and make up just under a third of members.”
There are a couple of reasons this is the case. According to the studies the DMV cites, women are less likely to engage in risky behavior that could result in an accident. So fewer female riders leads experts to conclude that women feel city biking is risky:
“Women are early indicators of a successful bike system,” said Sarah M. Kaufman, the assistant director for technology programming at the Rudin Center for Transportation at New York University and an author of a new report on Citi Bike. “If you have more women riders, that means it’s convenient and safe.”
There may be another reason, too:
And there are other perceived obstacles, not unique to women but more commonly cited by them: They cannot ride with small children. They think the cost — $149 for an annual membership or $9.95 for a day pass — is too steep, especially on top of a subway pass. And they worry about arriving at work sweaty.
Still, Citi Bike’s female ridership numbers are higher than the national average — which is a paltry 21 percent, according to a study by Hunter College.
(Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)