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Capital Bikeshare Ridership

In July I reported on my research project, which includes an analysis of CityCycle, Brisbane’s bikeshare program. My  contract with Brisbane City Council does not allow me to share my findings derived from their data, but I will share some of the results from the Washington, D.C. data.

In addition to CityCycle, I am looking at D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare. The systems are of a similar size, and they have been around nearly an identical amount of time. Although the cities share a number of similarities, their differences are many, which is why my project is not about comparing the programs’ performance. Instead, I am examining how their ridership has changed relative to climate, time of day, policies, terrain, demographics, and land use.

Washington, D.C. has seen a much higher level of ridership than they anticipated, which has made the program both popular and economically sound. Expansion both within the District and in surrounding counties is underway.

As shown in the chart below, the most popular months for bikeshare are the summer months. December through February are the least busy months, though the program still generates around 100,000 trips during the winter.

Although climate is likely the primary factor, the bump during the summer months can be partially attributed to increased number of tourists. The data does not include information about where the users live, but the number of 24-hour subscriptions increases during this time. I suspect that most of these 24-hour subscribers are non-locals.