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Thread: Bike Angels program suspended

  1. #1
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    Default Bike Angels program suspended

    (I am writing this as a long-time Capital Bikeshare member and regular Bike Angel points-earner.)

    On Tuesday Feb. 25, 2020, came the surprise announcement that the Bike Angels program in Capital Bikeshare, as we have known it, has been suspended for an indefinite period. There was no word of this until it happened, but in retrospect I think there were some signs.

    The phrasing they used was "Pressing Pause" (see below), but the contents of the email are less than crystal clear on all what it means.

    There was a lot of confusion and a variety of other negative emotions from regular Bike Angels, judging by scattered mentions of this on Twitter. I know seeing the email was a real disappointment to me, especially as I had recently talked two people into doing Bike Angels and they seemed interested.

    Someone apparently involved with running CaBi named Aaron didn't seem to fully know what was going on ("pretty sure the points are coming back"), when a few people complained on Twitter about the sudden disappearance of Bike Angels with the new, highly-Lyft-like app (another topic entirely -- which deserves a thread).

    The emailed announcement was as follows (delivered by email from "marketing@capitalbikeshare.com"):

    .
    (Subject: Changes to Bike Angels)

    PRESSING PAUSE ON BIKE ANGELS

    "Collin from Bike Angels" showing up in your inbox again. We recently sent you some info about some updates to the Capital Bikeshare app. If you can’t tell, we’re really excited about continuing to improve service and availability of bikes throughout Metro DC.

    As you probably know, the Bike Angels program was created to give bike riders (like you!) an opportunity to earn rewards for improving the balance of bikes and docks in the Capital Bikeshare system. The changing nature of Capital Bikeshare with different types of bikes and parking methods, means changes to the operational challenges of "balancing" bikes and docks across the system. We know that riders will have an important role to play here, but the current Bike Angels system — with points tied to specific stations — won't make the most sense.

    As a result, we're hitting pause on the Bike Angels program, and the last points will be earned on February 29. And as a thank you for being a dedicated Bike Angel, we've extended your membership by an additional two weeks.

    Your Bike Angels lifetime stats

    .... total points
    .... trips earning points

    Stay tuned for more,
    Collin and the Bike Angels team
    (I originally wrote this about Feb. 26, but have refrained from posting until now, waiting to get a few days perspective. I originally thought this was potentially the end of Bike Angels entirely ["the last points will be earned on February 29"] and so posted a longer, retrospective on the program as I have known it, which I may post later. The very-short version is: Bike Angels was great.)
    .
    Last edited by Yule; 03-03-2020 at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yule View Post

    Someone apparently involved with running CaBi named Aaron didn't seem to fully know what was going on ("pretty sure the points are coming back"), when a few people complained on Twitter about the sudden disappearance of Bike Angels with the new, highly-Lyft-like app (another topic entirely -- which deserves a thread).
    Aaron's the Bikeshare Manager for DDOT and shares a lot of good information on Twitter and usually will answer people's questions. My understanding of the program was that it was something that Lyft/Motivate offered that wasn't a requirement of the municipalities (but that the municipalities were cool with). I hope the program comes back although out in the hinterlands of Arlington there weren't ever any points available unless a dock was full so I had a hard time participating.

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  4. #3
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    Where do things stand on responsibilities around rebalancing? The station nearest to my house is perpetually full and now the other one is as well. I recognize that we are still in a pandemic and I know that I can forgo bikeshare or walk a mile for my trips, but I do like to see people use bikeshare.

    Are there metrics for stations? Do we not care that stations are perpetually full/empty? (I don't mean the daily ebb/flow.)
    Last edited by elbows; 03-19-2021 at 02:31 PM.

  5. #4
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    It seems the Bike Angel program is back? I was able to get a point yesterday (Easter Sunday) in the mobile app. I have not see any emails though. Maybe it is a trial for people who previously participated as they work out kinks. Initially I saw some really big number for points until your next reward. Now that I have earned one point, I see 9 points until reward.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuvem View Post
    It seems the Bike Angel program is back? I was able to get a point yesterday (Easter Sunday) in the mobile app. I have not see any emails though. Maybe it is a trial for people who previously participated as they work out kinks. Initially I saw some really big number for points until your next reward. Now that I have earned one point, I see 9 points until reward.
    I did not see any e-mails, but CaBi did respond to a tweet about it, and they pushed notifications out through the phone app midday Friday, I believe. (Divvy did a push notification at the same time, so maybe it was a Lyft-wide change?)

    <<INSERT INAPPROPRIATE JOKE ABOUT RESURRECTING THE BIKE ANGEL PROGRAM ON EASTER WEEKEND>>

  7. #6
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    Yes, there is a soft-launch in progress while they work out some of the Tech bugs. Limited number of users and invite only for the moment.

    Henry

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Yes, there is a soft-launch in progress while they work out some of the Tech bugs. Limited number of users and invite only for the moment.

    Henry
    Been using it since it came back a few weeks ago, liking it so far. I noticed they have some interesting new prizes levels for points. Cool idea, though the top levels seem extreme (5000 points? That's like 3 points a day every single day for 5 years!). Granted, here in south Arlington the points don't get as high, so maybe it's more attainable in DC.... The only prize that actually excites me is the 250 points to unlock 45 free minutes at a time. This would be really helpful to avoid switching bikes when you approach the 30 min mark.

    I also see a leaderboard, which is cool to look at; you can't see actual names though, just random letters/numbers, which somewhat reduces the personal touch. Maybe if they instead show first names it would be personal but also protect privacy? And I wonder if there are rewards for those in the top 10 or something?

    It is interesting how the point numbers are determined. There are some docks that I see that are 95% empty but have 0 drop-off points, whereas others are like 70% empty and have drop-off points. I wonder if there are individual limits for every station based on whether they expect it to be a generator or destination.

    It hasn't been too buggy for me, only once have I taken a trip that should've earned points but for some reason didn't register. You can't see any info on the program on the Capital Bikeshare website yet, just gives you an error message. Though a lot of pages on the website are currently giving "Something went wrong with our server!" messages, so maybe they're in process of an overhaul.
    Last edited by 13cathie; 04-23-2021 at 10:06 AM.

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  10. #8
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    I am unable to log on to my account to see it it's activated:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the app on my Android, I have the note that I'm a Bike Angel, but when I click on that notification, I get a mostly empty screen.


    Last edited by DCAKen; 04-22-2021 at 10:21 AM.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCAKen View Post
    I am unable to log on to my account to see it it's activated:

    In the app on my Android, I have the note that I'm a Bike Angel, but when I click on that notification, I get a mostly empty screen.
    Oh no! Sorry to hear that. This is what it looks like on my iPhone.


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  12. #10
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    My app is now telling me Iím a bike angel but not displaying any available points. Maybe itís like Itís A Wonderful Life and I need to first earn my angel wings by convincing someone that they want to bike.

    I am really digging the transit map with real time bus and train locations.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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