June 6, 2012

Bike Share 103 - Travel Modes of Cities

Bike shares are pretty cool ideas in that it sounds pretty cool to have bike shares. I've gone over bike shares before, and today I want to go over a readily available statistic which should help evaluate the success of a bike share.

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The above was created using the 5-year American Community Survey done by the Census. The survey looks at workers older than 16 and compiles methods of transportation. The chart above added the bike share, bus share, and walking share and compares them with other cities. Columbus is in red, cities which already have bike share are in purple, and cities which are planned to start bike shares soon are in blue.

I compiled this chart because I think that non-car shares are a good surrogate for the success likelihood of bike shares.

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This is graph showing the percentage of workers who have no access to a vehicle. Columbus has the fewest of such commuters.

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This graph shows average densities (from Wiki) of the various cities.

What I gather is that Columbus is near the bottom of the pack for most cities. Denver is probably the closest comparison as we are both large cities of similar average densities although they have twice the amount of people not driving/carpooling to work and have twice as many people without access to cars.

According to this post, the Denver program had 200,000 trips logged in 2011 and had 11,800 annual members according to this other article. The program has 52 stations and 500 bikes. I don't know what those numbers mean in the big picture but as far as Columbus is concerned, those numbers should be looked at successful. 

Cool cartoon music video of the day:


  1. I think you should use weighted densities instead of average densities

    1. I agree that average densities is not the best. I'll look into doing average densities of proposed coverage areas if I get time.

      I think that weighted density makes more sense for larger areas like metros, although it would be interesting to compare weighted city densities. I would think sprawling cities (like Columbus) would benefit from this although Boston/NYC/older cities probably wouldn't.


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