If you're running late and need to get across town quickly, hailing a cab or ordering an Uber is not always your best bet.
A recent study from the University of Central Florida and University of Toronto found that riding a bike during peak travel periods in New York City is faster than—or at least competitive to—taking a taxi. The researchers dug into all of the data from CitiBike trips and cab rides during 2014, and the findings are fascinating to anyone who's interested in the most efficient ways to navigate the city.
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It's no secret that driving in Manhattan isn't exactly efficient—a study published earlier this year showed that the influx of ride-sharing apps has caused traffic in the borough to move 12 percent slower. Riding a bicycle, however, is an effective way to avoid being delayed by New York City's gridlock.
According to the study, most of the CitiBike trips taken in 2014 were less than two kilometers (the same applies for taxis), and those short trips were often quicker for cyclists during peak periods. More than 62 percent of CitiBike trips with a distance between one and two kilometers during weekday morning rush hour periods (7-10am) were either competitive to or faster than cabs. Roughly 60 percent of CitiBike trips of the same distance during the middle of the day (10am-4pm) were faster than or competitive to cabs, and that figure for CitiBike trips during the afternoon rush period (4-7pm) was 53.1 percent.
When the distance of a trip exceeds three kilometers (that's just under two miles), a taxi becomes the more attractive option in all hours of the day. It's worth noting that CitiBikes are pretty heavy, and urban cyclists who are rocking their own lightweight machines could have entirely different results. The study also points out that a whole medley of factors go into making a bicycle ride more or less efficient than a taxi, ranging from the experience level of the rider to their knowledge of the city's geography.
So, New Yorkers, if you're sick of subway delays, above-ground traffic and being late for literally every appointment you make, maybe it's time to consider joining the ranks of Gotham's cyclists.