Ridership Over Time: I want to highlight from the comments a great visualization from Bilsko, showing ridership over time of day and year all at once. This “heat map” really shows how the “summer effect” on Bikeshare has as much to do with the pleasant temperatures, as the longer hours of daylight in the evenings. This is definitely worth a good look. Very cool!
Where Are All the Casual Users? Are Capital Bikeshare’s casual riders all taking long rides on the Mall, as the stereotype would lead you to believe? Are all the registered users using it to commute to work? Or are “casual” users really tourists, or just infrequent native users? To help shed some light, I mapped the percentage of trips originating at each station, by user type:
A few observations:
- While the stations around the Mall, the White House, and Georgetown are unusually “casual” compared to the rest of the system, there are exceptions to that rule.
- Casual ridership is relatively high in areas that aren’t your “typical” tourist destinations – Courthouse, Pentagon City, and the SW Waterfront, and two stations to the east of the river – near Fort Dupont at Minnesota Ave and Branch Ave, and at Pennsylvania and Branch Ave (although they’re relatively new).
- Conversely, casual ridership seems low in areas where I’d expect to see more tourists – look at the swath between Farragut Square, Dupont, and U Street. Maybe that’s because there’s so much ridership in that area that the regular riders are simply overwhelming the casual users.
- Casual ridership may be high at new stations, as people try it out. As time goes by, people may sign up for the year, and the station turns colors.
- Look at how “local” the H Street corridor is (I live near there, so it catches my eye). Also, the area towards Petworth I called “Mid-City North” earlier – very local.
Where Is the Balance? It’s clear some stations are more imbalanced than others, over the long term – but how does that look on the map? Are low-lying stations net receivers, and hilltop stations net “senders”?
Sure enough, the stations in Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights, and other neighborhoods uphill from downtown, are net senders. (Corey also confirmed that the average Bikeshare trip is net downhill.) Stations around the Mall are net receivers. I’ve shown this in raw numbers rather than as percent of total ridership, so the tan stations that look “in balance” may in fact be low ridership overall.
How Long Do You Ride? Whenever I see people on those red bikes, I wonder where they’re going. Is this a 5-minute dash to make a long-ish walk a lazy ride? Or is this a serious 25-minute haul? Does this pattern change whether you’re in Woodley Park, vs. Crystal City? How does the system serve different needs in different places? Here’s average trip duration, in minutes, by station of origin:
I had to exclude trips over 4 hours, since I’m working with a mean (not a median), and some very long trips were throwing things off.
- The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor is interesting – it looks like
Ballston, Virginia Square,station further west near Clarendon stay local, with shorter trips. But at Courthouse and Rosslyn, average trip length goes up to 25+ minutes, suggesting they’re going across the Potomac River to DC. The “breakpoint” seems to be about Courthouse.
- The different trip lengths at Crystal City mystify me – any suspicion on what’s going on here?
- Interesting that the stations in Ward 8 (more or less) seem to be shorter than the stations in Ward 7. I would guess it has something to do with the speed and quality of the Anacostia river crossings, but I don’t know why trips from Minnesota Ave. area would be so much longer than those from historic Anacostia.
- The gap in stations on the Mall, plus the tourist ridership, seem to be driving longer trip lengths. I imagine this will drop this summer, as stations go in on NPS land on the Mall.
- I’m surprised at how short the trips are, even from neighborhoods north of U Street NW (“Mid-City North”). Trips from these neighborhoods seem to take less time than neighborhoods similarly further from downtown. Any ideas what’s going on here?
Okay, next time I want to delve into maps like this, but I realize I need to adjust for the length of time each station has been open. Stay tuned: