Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Washington Cyclist Explosion

On March 16th the entire Metrorail system in Washington DC was shut down. Operations were suddenly suspended on the network so that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority could carry out emergency inspections of electric cables. Thousands of commuters were given just half a day's notice of the shutdown and were left with little time to arrange alternative means of travel.

One effect of the Metrorail shutdown was an explosion in the numbers of people using the Capital Bikeshare network. Mobility Lab has created an interactive map which visualizes this jump in demand for Capital Bikeshare bikes and the bike docking stations which saw the biggest increase in activity on March 16th.

A Day with No Metro shows which parts of the Capital Bikeshare network saw the most traffic as the network coped with a 21 percent jump in demand (compared with the previous Wednesday). 223 stations (63%) saw an increase in traffic. Some stations actually saw a decrease in traffic.

The map uses scaled markers to show the increase in traffic at bike docking stations on March 16th. The map also allows you to view the amount of traffic at stations on the previous Wednesday. You can refine the data shown on the map to show bikes borrowed by all users, casual members and registered members.

You can read more about the map and the patterns of increased traffic on the Capital Bikeshare network on the Mobility Lab blog.

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