Divvy started sending out surveys yesterday asking how members use the system, whether their patterns have changed over time, how often they drive and take public transit, and what would get them to ride a bike more. The survey also asked members for their opinion of hypothetical changes to the system’s current price and fee structure.
The survey I received laid out these potential scenarios for memberships: $25 per month or $90 per year for the same package that’s currently offered for $75, and a $125 annual membership called “Gear” that includes includes five one-day guest passes. (This offer is currently available on Groupon for $65.)
Rest assured, Divvy isn’t on the verge of hiking the annual fee. “We’re trying to get more information from riders so we can offer them the best membership options,” said spokesman Elliot Greenberger, adding that customers have asked for a monthly membership option and a longer period to take trips without incurring late fees. “The goal of the survey is to find out what riders actually want.”
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy’s bike-share planning guide says that while many cities have done their own “market studies to understand the effect of various price structures on usage and revenue generation,” there has been little academic research.
The surveys Divvy is sending vary, with different versions of the pricing questions randomly distributed, Greenberger said. The survey I completed also asked how much I would be willing to pay for a 45- or 60-minute use period without fees.
In addition to monthly memberships, one option Divvy should consider adding is a seven-day pass, which New York’s Citi Bike offers. At $25, it’s cheaper than a one-week MTA pass. Citi Bike sells annual memberships for $95, with a 45-minute period before fees kick in.