Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

If the lack of emissions or bonus exercise isn’t reason enough to ride a bike instead of a car to work in New York City, here’s another perk. According to this year’s Mobility Report, released by the city’s Department of Transportation, riding a bicycle may get you to your destination a lot faster than taking a cab.

The report found that taxi speeds in Manhattan’s central business district (an area extending from the city’s southern tip up to the base of Central Park) have been steadily decreasing over the past five years. In 2013, the average taxi speed was 8.5 miles per hour. By 2018 (the city’s most recent numbers), it had gone to 7 miles per hour. In some parts of the city, cab trips even slowed to a sluggish 4.9 miles per hour.

On the flipside, Citi Bikes are proliferating and tend to arrive at their Manhattan destinations faster than cabs. A trip of up to half a mile in the city takes, on average, five minutes and 37 seconds by cab but just four minutes on a Citi Bike. That makes riding a bike about 30% faster. The same goes for longer rides. A trip between 1.5 and 2 miles in Midtown takes just more than 21 minutes in a taxi and 14 minutes, 30 seconds on a Citi Bike.

Using a Citi Bike not only produces zero carbon emissions, but it’s also a lot cheaper than hailing a taxi. That 14.5-minute trip in Midtown costs $1.87 on a Citi Bike, while you’d have to pay $13.60 to sit for an extra 6.5 minutes in a cab. In short, choosing a bike over a taxi is a no-brainer these days.

This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we get ready to welcome 2020!

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