Visualizing New York’s New Bike Sharing System (Co.Exist)
Thanks to data journalist Jon Bruner and the New Yorker’s interactives staff, we can now see the city’s bike-share from a bird’s-eye, watching bubbles of color expand or fade in relation to how many bikes are available at each station. The maps are insanely mesmerizing in a very nerdy way, sort of like watching a human ant farm or massive Rube-Goldberg machine dedicated to urban movement.
The O’Reilly Radar’s Jon Bruner created two interactive maps: One of New York City and one of Washington D.C. In New York, Citibikes disappear from their stations in the East and West Village and converge in the center of the island for the morning commute. Around 6 or 7 p.m., the blue retreats from the middle and heads back to the residential areas at night. Notice, however, that Citibike has yet to add kiosks serving the rest of the borough and uptown. On the D.C. map, an 8 a.m. rush pulls bikes downtown and to the National Mall in one magnetic sweep.
From midnight to 7:30 A.M., New York is uncharacteristically quiet, its Citi Bikes — the city’s new shared bicycles — largely stationary and clustered in residential neighborhoods. Then things begin to move: commuters check out the bikes en masse in residential areas across Manhattan and, over the next two hours, relocate them to Midtown, the Flatiron district, SoHo, and Wall Street. There they remain concentrated, mostly used for local trips, until they start to move back outward around 5 P.M.
Washington, D.C.’s bike-share program exhibits a similar pattern, though, as you’d expect, the movement starts a little earlier in the morning. On my animated map, both cities look like they’re breathing — inhaling and then exhaling once over the course of 12 hours or so.
The map below shows availability at bike stations in New York City and the Washington, D.C. area across the course of the day. Solid blue dots represent completely-full bike stations; white dots indicate empty bike stations. When you click on a station, you’ll see a graph showing how many of the station’s docks are occupied on an average weekday over time.
From the New Yorker: (read more here)
We examined how the first few weeks of the program fared by tracking when the bikes appeared at different docks. After a Citi Bike is unlocked (through a code or a key), it can be used for up to forty-five minutes before it must be redocked. Using live data provided by the Citi Bike Web site, it’s possible to see how many bikes are checked into each station at any particular moment. Other Citi Bike-trackers have used this data to develop insightful live views of the program, or to follow it closely for a single day. We chose to take a long look, grabbing information at fifteen-minute intervals each day for a month, from June 8th through July 8th.
Plotted on a time-lapse map, our data shows that Citi Bike is creating new ways to navigate the city. As more New Yorkers joined the program, commuting and recreational-riding patterns appeared. Citi Bike is already influencing how people get to and from work. And, because it’s New York, there’s been speculation about how much of a premium bike-friendly real estate can command.