DC Bike Share Visualizer Shows How Neighborhoods Use CaBi Differently

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 05:24 PM

Washington, D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare released its latest batch of customer trip data -- and the fine folks at Mobility Lab turned it into an interactive map. What's interesting about this visualizer is that it sorts trips by neighborhood cluster.

Instead of seeing all the trips everywhere -- which is beautiful --  you can see how a given station connects to the areas around it. The more rides between two stations, the thicker the red line. Click on most downtown stations and it looks like a starburst of rides.

Trips on the National Mall tend to stay on the National Mall or head over the Jefferson Memorial.

Bike Share trips on the National Mall, Washington D.C. 4th Quarter, 2012.

Mobility Lab has also set the map so you see the direction of trips, including "unbalancedness" between stations. That's when trips tend to be in one direction more than another. It's not so surprising that more people ride downhill on Connecticut Avenue from the Van Ness station to Dupont Circle. But it is interesting to see how many more people ditch the heavy bike share bikes at the bottom and return by some other, presumably less tiring, means. Of the 203 trips between those two stations in the 4th quarter of 2012, 82 percent of them were downhill.

(Read TN's article on how DC rebalances bike share stations here.)

Trips from Van Ness bike share station in 4th quarter 2012

Michael Schade over at Mobility Lab has pulled out a few more interesting data points. Alexandria, Virginia, joined CaBi last year. Most of those bike share trips appear to be heading to or from the two Metro stations.  So Schade concludes bike share in Alexandria is being used to solve a last-mile transit problem.

See his full analyses and more maps here.


Comments [2]


The downhill on Connecticut Avenue issue could be people being lazy. BUT, remember that this major artery has no bike infrastructure. Riding downhill, particularly if you are pedaling briskly (it's not so steep that you could just coast the entire way), allows a cyclist to more or less keep up with the traffic flow. Riding uphill, by contrast, particularly with the limited gearing on bikeshare bikes, means you are huffing and puffing in a narrow space between parked cars and cars that are whizzing past you at markedly different speed. My hypothesis is that you'd see much of the unbalance disappear if there was a well-designed cycle track on this street (or Reno Road was turned into a bicycle boulevard or something, it's very hard to find a non-Connecticut route north).

Feb. 01 2013 09:22 AM

82% of bike-share trips are 'downhill'! So much for healthy exercise.

Jan. 31 2013 07:45 PM

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