Capital Bikeshare trips visualized and mapped

Have you ever wondered which Capital Bikeshare stations are the most popular? Or which routes are the most common? A new visualization sheds some light on this, using data gathered over three months last year to show Bikeshare in action.

The information comes from Mobility Lab, the research-and-development arm of Arlington County’s commuter services division. Capital Bikeshare regularly releases data covering the history of trips taken using the service. 

The tool lets you see how many trips were taken to or from stations from July through September of 2012. Simply select a station and it will show you how many bikes were rented and where these riders went. The thicker the line, the more rides taken on that route. (While this new tool only covers three months and isn’t a a formal survey or poll of riders, it’s still a useful way to see how Bikeshare trips occur.) 

So let’s say you select the station at M Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. This tool tells you that quite a few people heading to or from the eastern end of Georgetown started out in Dupont Circle, with a combined 866 trips taken between the M Street dock and the station at Massachusetts Avenue NW and the circle. 

Or take a look at the station close to the Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin. There were 942 trips that traveled between that memorial and the station at Jefferson Drive and 14th Street SW (the dock right in front of the Washington Monument), with the trips nearly split between those that began near the Washington and those that started by the Jefferson There were also 449 round trips that began and ended at the Jefferson Memorial station.

Mobility Lab also released some other statistics from the data covering this period. The average Bikeshare trip was 1.2 miles, though that doesn’t account for trips that begin or end at the same station. That station on Massachusetts Avenue NW right near Dupont Circle is the busiest station. And a significant majority of the trips taken during this period — 80 percent — were made by people who had signed up for monthly or yearly passes. The rest were taken by single-day or three-day riders. 

 Take a look for yourself. Are you surprised by the trips taken? If you’re a regular Bikeshare user, does this match up to what you’ve experienced? Tell us in the comments.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.



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Mark Berman · January 9, 2013

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