The Citi Bike app was designed to be the riders’ key to unlocking New York. It featured core functionality like station locations and bike availability, as well as bike-friendly routes from A to B. But to help the rider have the best experience possible, we went beyond the basics. Since annual members only have 45 minutes per ride, a timer was built in to help them avoid late fees. We made safety a priority by including riding rules and safety tips. New York Times reviews on restaurants and events were also featured, so every journey would be filled with inspiration and new ways to unlock New York. Since 2008, our brand was hit harder than our competitors in New York. There was no way a typical ad campaign would overcome the huge trust barrier Citi faced. To win back the hearts and minds of New Yorkers, they would have to experience our brand. A Citi Bike ride might be someone’s first experience with our brand, so it had to be a positive one. This is where the Citi Bike app played a critical role. Every feature in the app was carefully selected to make the riding experience easier, safer and more enjoyable – qualities we wanted in our brand halo. The Citi Bike app also gave us a rare opportunity – to become part of someone’s daily mobile life. This is an app that took full advantage of that opportunity. It would not be downloaded and forgotten, it would add true utility and unlock new experiences for our riders every day.
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