Citi Bike reveals how New Yorkers ride their bikes

Citi Bikes ball drop New Years Eve
© Charles Sykes, Invision for Citi

Where do Citi Bikers ride? When do they ride? How far do they go? Which stations are most popular? What days of the week are most rides taken on? These are the questions that we can now answer thanks to New York's bike share's move in the direction of more transparency: They have officially opened their trove of usage data to the public, allowing anyone to create all kinds of visualizations and graphs to better tease out how cyclists in NYC behave, something that could be very useful to determine where to put more stations, build more bike lanes, and improve multi-modal transit.

Above is a visualization of the Citi Bike data for a few days last September. You might not see much activity at the beginning of the video, but it's because it starts in the middle of the night. If you wait - or fast forward - to the next morning, you'll see the map light up as people commute to work.

The map even shows transit delays, which no doubt push more people to ride bikes, and the weather. All the days covered here don't have rain, but it's easy to imagine that bike-sharing isn't as popular when it's raining...

Here are some great maps by Oliver O'Brien. They show the level of activity in different areas at different times (weekend, peak, etc):

Oliver O'Brien/CC BY-SA 3.0

Citi Bike/Screen capture

Above is the number of miles traveled by all Citi Bike riders per day. It moves around a lot (weather and seasonality play a big role, no doubt), but the overall trend is up and is now hitting over 40,000 miles in a single day pretty frequently.

Citi Bike/Screen capture

The cumulative total number of miles traveled by Citi Bike riders is now on its way to reaching 13 million miles! A very impressive number, especially considering that many Citi Bike users probably would not be biking otherwise because they would lose the convenience of just picking up a bike at a station and dropping it at another and then taking the subway and so on; this great flexibility is unfortunately not present when you have your own bike that you need to either keep with you or keep somewhere safe.

Here's another way to slice and dice the data, via I Quant NY:

Google/IQuantNY/via

They show variations across the city in the age and gender of Citi Bike riders. More maps and details here.

Via Citi Bike, Streetsblog

Tags: Bikes | Bike Sharing | New York City

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