New York City Bike Share (Citi Bike)

BigApps is the premier showcase of NYC’s tech ecosystem. It’s a competition that empowers New York’s sharpest minds to solve the city’s toughest challenges through technology, making NYC a better place to Live, Work, Learn, and Play. Whether you’re a hacker or a maker, a designer or an investor, a novice or a pro, we provide resources that make it easy to make a difference. Come to build. Come to network. Come to win.

NYC BigApps 2014 is an initiative of NYCEDC to promote government transparency and the creation of innovative new technologies. Following NYC BigApps 2013, this year’s event is the fifth annual run of the competition and is being managed by HR&A Advisors in collaboration with Super Vision and Splash.

Allow Citi Bike users to plan a better trip by predicting bike and dock availability.

Our Challenge to You

Many Citi Bike riders have experienced the situation where they have arrived at a station and found either no bikes available, or no free docks to return their bike – colorful terms (we won't tell you here!) have even been coined for each of these conditions. To help Citi Bikers have a great experience during our busiest times of year, we are increasing our rebalancing activities; however, there is an additional, data-driven way to help our customers achieve the best possible experience.

What if there was a product that could anticipate bike and dock availability, much as Google Maps is able to forecast traffic for any day and time of the week? One year in, we’ve found that Citi Bike has fairly predictable ridership patterns. For example, some stations in the East Village empty out in the morning, while many in Midtown fill up around the same time – but, in many cases, an available bike or dock is just a short walk away.

Product Wish List

We’re looking for a product that can allow Citi Bike riders – whether they are New Yorkers or tourists – to:
• Locate all nearby Citi Bike stations and display the current number of bikes/docks available
• Plan trips using Citi Bike by suggesting specific starting/ending locations with availability based on historical data
• View historical bike/dock availability data
• View overlaid bike lane data on the map

In an ideal world, this product would also:
• Provide functionality for riders to report any issues they might encounter with Citi Bike within the app
• Use the phone's GPS to map routes taken by riders and provide detail on those rides (or integrate with a service like Strava that does this already)
• Integrate with one or more of Twitter, Foursquare, or other mobile, location-based services
• Do anything else that we haven't mentioned – but that you think would markedly improve our riders' experiences


  • Featured article about product and product team on Citi Bike's website.

    Promotion of product and product to all 100K+ Citi Bike annual members and newsletter subscribers.

  • Free Citi Bike Annual Membership for all members of the winning team.

Evaluation Criteria

Product must be both well-designed and functional and must satisfy at least the first four items on the Product Wish List – but as many as possible!

BigIdea Mentor

Jacob Doctoroff

Jacob can field all questions relating to project goals, data availability, and anything else!




Things of Note

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What is NYC BigApps?

BigApps is the premier showcase of NYC's tech ecosystem. It's a competition that empowers New York's sharpest minds to solve the City's toughest challenges through technology, making NYC a better place to Live, Work, Learn, and Play. Whether you're a hacker or an engineer, a designer or an investor, a novice or a pro, we provide resources that make it easy to make a difference. Come to build. Come to solve. Come to win.


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