Dani Simons (Citi Bike) presenting at the Citi Bike Data Showcase on May 28, 2014

Recap and Photos: Citi Bike Data Showcase

Last night’s Citi Bike Data Showcase brought a full, fun crowd to talk about visualizations, apps and nuances of Citi Bike use and analysis. Hosted by the Rudin Center and emceed by Noel Hidalgo of BetaNYC, the event featured several brief talks:

  • Dani Simons, Director of Marketing at NYC Bike Share, showed how the organization uses its data to manage bike fleets and where the system expansion may occur going forward.
  • Jeff Ferzoco (linepointpath) and Alex Chohlas-Wood (NYU CUSP) discussed their upcoming project of calculating bike salmoning.
  • Aaron Fraint (Hunter College) showed his favorite coding tools for analysis and visualization, including some processes that can take three days to complete.  (link)
  • Ben Wellington (I Quant NY/Pratt) demonstrated the process of map creation using Citi Bike and NYC data with free coding tools.
  • Sarah Kaufman (NYU Rudin Center) discussed gender, Citi Bike, and the modern freedoms reflective of women’s discovery of pantaloons.
  • Amy Wu and Luke Stern (SVA) redesigning Citi Bike’s checkout and kiosk process

Frank Hebbert (Open Plans) closed out the event by showcasing his new #bikestoday tool, which automatically counts bikes riding past.

See event photos below (by Jeff Ferzoco).

MapBaseforSketchTNv2 (2)

Citi Bike and Gender

By Sarah Kaufman; Map by Jeff Ferzoco

As the city enters a long-awaited spring and the bikes emerge, so too might a pattern: according to Citi Bike’s public data, men are riding more – far more – than women, averaging three times more rides. Of subscriber-based rides in July through December 2013, men took 76.3% of all trips, and women 23.7%. What is the cause of this disparity, and how can it be resolved?

Women typically attribute reduced cycling numbers to safety among car traffic, and considering Citi Bike’s distribution across some of the most congested parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, lower female participation makes sense. Further analysis of the gender divide by bike share station shows that bike stations in Manhattan are predominantly used by men, while Brooklyn stations are more proportionately popular among women. Of the top ten stations for each gender, women preferred the Brooklyn residential neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, while men were overwhelmingly represented in bustling midtown Manhattan. Women also chose stations in areas with fewer lanes of traffic, more limited truck traffic, fewer collision-based cyclist injuries in recent memory, and in some cases, fast access to bridge entrances; men most often chose stations with more traffic, some truck traffic, some collision-based cyclist injuries, and, typically, connectivity to major transit hubs.

See the map below to explore these stations:

MapBaseforSketchTNv2 (2)

The station with the highest proportion of women, only 37.9%, is Station 266, the East Village’s 8th Street and Avenue D location. Although there is no dedicated bike lane on that block, the area has limited transit access, quieter traffic, and easy access to the tranquil East River waterfront and bridges.

The numbers of women bikers are universally important, since they teach us which locations are safe (and perceived to be). Station 266’s relative diversity can teach us a few things about biking in New York City: When it is (and feels) safe, people will bike as a last-mile transit solution, a connector to parks and recreation, and as a lifeline for improved job access from a distant location (ask an Avenue D resident if they would consider working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a treacherous commute by transit; biking would essentially halve the travel time).

Women have a long favorable history with biking. In the 1890s, women discovered the bicycle as the best means of personal mobility, providing exercise, freedom from reliance on men for transportation, and reform of requirements for wearing unwieldy undergarments. According to suffragist Susan B. Anthony, biking had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” (source)

In 2014, a safe, active travel mode that complements transit is important for all New Yorkers, and as the system expands farther into the city’s residential reaches of Brooklyn, Queens and uptown Manhattan, we will likely see a more balanced use of the system. By comparison, Washington, DC’s Capital Bikeshare system extends into multiple lower-traffic residential areas like Clinton Hill, and the subscriber rate is a more balanced 55% male, 45% female. (source)

Removing the barriers to cycling will universalize biking’s appeal, and bike share will become a truly mature transportation mode integrated into NYC’s fabric of mobility.

Data note: Station proportions were calculated by number of trip starts by subscribers, the only users for whom gender data is available.

P.S. Enjoy data uses like the one here? Be sure to join us for the Citi Bike data showcase night on May 28.

Citi Bike Takes New York on “The Policy Shop”

Last week, researchers Lily Gordon-Koven and Nolan Levenson took a ride with James Leyba MUP ’15 to discuss Citi Bike on Wagner’s podcast “The Policy Shop.” The interview was conducted while riding (during stops for safety, of course!). You can check it out here.

Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop
Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop
Sarah Kaufman moderated Short Talks, Big Ideas - April 7, 2014

Short Talks, Big Ideas: Photos and Recap

Monday night’s Short Talks, Big Ideas event showcased the newest innovations in transportation projects and ideas. Thanks to the excellent speakers and large crowd!

See the photos below and visit the tweetstream for discussion.

Photos by Jeff Ferzoco

Short Talks, Big Ideas: Open Mic!

We have a fantastic lineup of speakers for Monday’s Short Talks, Big Ideas event, but we’re ready to crowdsource one more: the last speaker slot on Monday’s event is up for grabs, and it could be yours!
If you’re interested in presenting, please email me [sarahkaufman /at/ nyu /dot/ edu] with your name, affiliation and a talk title (up to 6 words). Anything goes when it comes to transportation innovation!
Everyone: please vote for your favorite potential talk (poll will be posted on this page Friday morning). Whose voice is missing? What project sounds fascinating?
Ideas must be submitted by Thursday at 5pm; polls will be open on this page Friday 9am – 5pm. The winner will be announced Friday at 5pm and will present in the last slot on Monday evening.
Looking forward to a great event with a speaker list curated by YOU.
CBtrips

48 Hours of Citi Bike

See the video below, designed by Sarah Kaufman of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation with Jeff Ferzoco of linepointpath and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, showing 48 hours in the life of Citi Bike:

Note that subscribers concentrate around economic and residential hubs like East Midtown, Wall Street and the East Village and Fort Greene, while customers use Citi Bike near tourist hotspots: the bases of the Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Central Park South, indicating that many single-use subscribers are, in fact, tourists. Subscribers and customers favor different locations, though Citi Bike appeals to both New Yorkers and visitors.

Users are encouraged to click around the map to explore Citi Bike travels during September, and to post findings to the NYU Rudin Center on Twitter @NYURudin.

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Citi Bike and “Reactionary Biking”

We at the NYU Rudin Center got an early look at Citi Bike’s new trip data and found exciting snippets, such as where it’s clear that New Yorkers hopped off delayed subways and onto bikes, transferred from ferries, or attended events at Barclays Center. (Check out our video of 48 hours in the life of Citi Bike, now live on the NYTimes website.)

 In fact, for the month of September, there is evidence of “reactionary biking,” in which subway riders encountering delays likely switched modes to bike share for that trip. The chart below demonstrates a moderate correlation between subway delays and Citi Bike usage throughout September: when delays increase, so does bike share ridership.

DelayGraph800

Reactionary biking is indicated during particular instances: for example, on September 17th at 7:45 a.m., the MTA sent an alert that the 2/3 train was delayed at Wall Street, in the heart of Citi Bike’s stations. In the half hour surrounding this alert, seventeen rides were recorded along the 2/3 route within four stops of the Wall Street Station; they were not repeated at the same time the following day. The increased rides on days heavy with delays, coupled with September’s pleasant weather (with temperatures ranging from 59 to 76 on average), lead to the conclusion that New Yorkers are avoiding or escaping transit delays by taking to bike share. As Citi Bike expands across New York City, it will provide a more comprehensive alternative to delayed transit.

Citi Bike has become an important mode in New York’s diverse transportation landscape, both as a method of active transport and an essential connection to the transit network; we are eager to analyze this data to understand its role in New York-area mobility.

 

Data notes:

  • The chart accounts for unplanned service changes only; it does not include planned weeknight and weekend service diversions (and their occasional cancelations) relating to construction work.
  •  Dates recorded are for bike trip starts only; trips ending on subsequent days are recorded on the days on which the trips started.
Polly Trottenberg, NYC DOT Commissioner, at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation breakfast at The Modern, March 13, 2014

Excellence in Transportation Breakfast

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation hosted the Excellence in Transportation Breakfast on March 13, 2013, at The Modern. Tom Prendergast, MTA Chairman and CEO and Polly Trottenberg, NYC DOT Commissioner, delivered keynote addresses.

Exploring challenges in transportation and infrastructure