I’m a big fan of the Citibike bike share program that started here recently. One common issue I and others seem to suffer from is the lack of bikes (when starting a trip) or docks (when ending a trip). Our neighborhood tends to be a very popular destination in the evening, so when I try to ride a bike in, I often end up a few blocks away from my desired station. Similarly, if I get a late start in the morning I often find there are no bikes left to ride.
I was curious about how the flow of bikes works around the city — where do the bikes go to when they leave the East Village? I crawled the Citibike web site and created a simple website to visualize the flow of bikes around the city; the results are pretty interesting:
With some more work on the data, it might be possible to use it for predictions (“will I be able to return this bike to my station”) and to aid in balancing (choosing which stations to move bikes between, and at what time).
The source code for the application is available on Github.