Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rebalancing NYC Citi Bikes

One of the biggest problems facing bike-share networks, such as New York's Citi Bike, is re-balancing the bikes in the docking stations. Bikes need to be moved around the docking stations to ensure that stations are not empty and that bikes are always available. Uneven demand and daily traffic flows (particularly during peak commuting times) can prevent bike-share networks reaching their full potential.

Urbica has created an interactive map to try to better understand the demand for bikes on New York's Citi Bike network and the destinations of its re-balanced bikes. The NYC Citi Bike Rebalancing Study visualizes popular trips taken on the network, re-balancing routes (where bikes are moved from station tot station) and individual bike docking station profiles.

There are two visualization modes on the map. The 'Trips vs Rebalancing' mode allows you to view trip routes and compare this to the re-balanced bicycle routes. If you select an individual station on the map you can also view the average availability of bikes at the station over 24 hours.

The 'Station Availability' mode shows the percent of bikes available at stations for any hour of the day. If you use the timeline at the bottom of the map you can see how the availability of bikes at each station changes over the course of the day.

You can read more about the map and the methodologies used in visualizing the data at Citi Bike Rebalanced.

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