A City In Motion by Northeastern University

Boston's shared Bluebike system supports more than 12,000 rides per day throughout Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville, Massachusetts. This motion scatterplot artfully illustrates the spread of total Bluebike rides over the course of an average day by start time and total ride minutes.

A second scatterplot series breaks down this information by month and includes a horizontal line indicating mean trip duration. The data points included are a representative subset of all rides taken during that month such that the total number of points corresponds to the average rides taken per day in that month. The charts focus in on just those rides under 30 minutes in duration, which comprise the vast majority. Outliers of duration greater than 10 hours or under 1 minute have been excluded.

From this small multiples chart we see that density of rides is greatest during summer and fall months, as expected, and dwindles in the winter. We also see that the average duration of rides is also highest in these warmer months and lowest in November through February. Consistent across months, however, is a noticeable density of rides at around 9am and 5pm - morning and evening rush hour - as well as a smaller, less substantial density around noontime. Almost all rides occur between 7am and 10pm.

Regardless of month, however, there are always a substantial number of Blue Bike riders, many of whom use the system for daily work commutes. Used by tens of thousands, the Greater Boston shared bike program provides a sustainable, equitable, healthy, and impactful contributor to its rich ecosystem of urban transportation.

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