Bike Sharing Programs

Welcome Politicians, Business Representatives, and the General Public!

Bike-sharing programs can bring numerous benefits to your urban city. We start with a case study of bike sharing data from San Francisco in 2014 to explore how bike-sharing usage was impacted by a number of factors.

Meet John Doe...

John observes that there isn't any correlation between precipitation and usage

Precipitation reference:
1/10 inch = Light rain for 30-45 minutes. Small puddles.
1/4 inch = Light rain for 2-3 hours. Many puddles.
1/2 inch = Moderate rain for 1-2 hours. Deep standing water.
> 1 inch = Heavy rain for 2-5 hours. Deep standing water.

John notes that warmer months have greater bike sharing usage

Warm Seasons have Greater Usage

San Francisco, California’s bike usage over time. Bike usage is measured by the number of trips taken. At first glance the trend shows higher usage during summer and warmer months.

Summer and Fall have the greatest bike-sharing usage and winter months show a steady decline in number of trips taken.

Note: Average usage represents the average number of trips (usage) per day (Daily), week (Weekly), or month (Monthly).

John confirms higher temperatures lead to greater usage

Higher Temperatures Increase Bike Usage

As temperature increases so does bike sharing usage. On average, bike sharing usage increased by 21.7 riders per degree (℉) increase in temperature. (Range: 47-75℉)

Between 62-75℉, we notice a much weaker correlation between bike sharing usage and temperature. This plateauing effect may be due to the decreasing marginal satisfaction gained per degree once a comfortable temperature has been reached. We also notice an interesting variance in ridership within this same temperature interval. Perhaps something else is at play.

Note: Average usage represents the average number of trips (usage) per day at a given temperature.

John observes that different kinds of days have different bike sharing usage

Filter by Usage:


Current Date: 2014-02-01
Zip Code: 94107
Total Trip Count: 318
Annual Avg
Trip Count:


June 18th - There is higher bike sharing usage on weekdays. It would be interesting to look beyond this dataset to try and find out who is using bikes on weekdays.

June 21st - On weekends there is less bike sharing usage. Perhaps this is because less people are at work on weekends.

July 4th - As with weekends, bike sharing usage is low on holidays. This more strongly suggests that workers use bike sharing.

Now you can play with the visualization! Click on a day in the calendar, or hover over a station marker!

Note: Line or edge weights on the map represent the amount of bike sharing trips between two stations on the map. Larger weight edges mean that a larger amount of bike sharing trips were taken between the two stations. Line color splits the edges into 3 similar sized groups (for all days in 2014) to dive deeper into high usage route patterns.

John confirms weekdays have more riders than weekends

Verifying our hypothesis, we notice that average daily bike share usage is higher on weekdays when compared to weekends of the same week.

Note: Average usage represents the average day's number of bike sharing trips taken (usage) per week.

John observes C02 related savings from bike sharing in San Francisco

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Rail, bus, and car are the three most common modes of non-bike transportation. Bike sharing programs can prevent an enormous amount of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Cost of Carbon Dioxide Emissions

According to the journal Nature Climate Change, Carbon dioxide emissions have an associated social cost of $220 per ton [Moore, 2015].

Note: Carbon dioxide emissions are calculated by multiplying the average number of miles bikes travelled by a scalar that represents how much carbon dioxide would have been released if a person took that form of transportation. For multiple passenger modes of transportation like bus and rail emissions per passenger are accounted for.

Confirm What You Learned with a Quiz

T or F? As the amount of precipitation increased, people used Bike Sharing less frequently in San Francisco.
T or F? Bike Sharing usage increased during warmer months.
T or F? As a general trend, Bike Sharing usage increased as temperature increased.
T or F? The rate that bike sharing usage increases with temperature is the same at both low to mild temperatures (47-62℉) and mild to warm temperatures (62-75℉).
T or F? Bike sharing is most popular on weekends and holidays.
T or F? Bike sharing helped San Franciscans save over 50,000 kilograms of CO2 from entering the atmosphere in 2014.

About this Project

This project was for University of Washington's Data Visualization course, CSE 442. It is created by:

  1. Qianying Chen - Lead Developer, Data Lead
  2. Matthew Chun - PM, Developer, Co-Lead Designer
  3. Boyan Li - Developer
  4. Felix Ouk - Videographer, Co-Lead Designer, Developer

Special thanks to Professor Heer and teaching assistants Kanit (Ham) Wongsuphasawat and Jane Hoffswell of CSE 442.