Tuesday, January 21, 2014

“Hot Zone” Commuters Taking Bikeshare to Use Metro

In Capital Bikeshare’s 2013 customer survey, the local government regional partnership that created the service asked who made trips to and from Metro. It turns out that 54 percent of our customers do.

So how far do Capital Bikeshare customers ride to get to and from Metro and their home? Well, we had some interesting findings which include a “hot zone” of bikeshare activity surrounding Metro stations.

Using Capital Bikeshare trip duration data for all stations during a week in July 2013, we determined the trip distances to and from Capital Bikeshare stations adjacent to Metrorail stations. Shown in the two similar charts below, Capital Bikeshare trips starting and ending at Metro stations have the most common trip distance of 0.5-0.75 miles. Not surprising as this distance makes for a good 10- to 15-minute walk.


Trips between 0.75-1.0 miles and 0.25-0.5 miles are not far behind as being the most common to and from Metro stations. Trips in the 0.25-1.0 mile range account for about 40 percent of the distances of the first-mile/last-mile trips and turn a 5- to 20-minute walking trip into an even quicker bike trip.

Longer distance trips become less common the further away the destination or origin become. Short trips of less than 0.25 miles are less frequent as they don’t save the customer time from walking. You’ll see that more trips in this range were made going to Metro, than from Metro, which leads me to believe that bikeshare is good for making up lost time in the morning when one leaves home late for work.

Some stations’ main purpose is to service a Metro station. The data visualization below created by Mobility Lab’s Michael Schade shows the residential bikeshare station at Lee Highway and North Adams Street sends a majority of its trips to the Courthouse Metro – as shown by a thick red arrow – whereas other stations are serviced by the origin station although far less frequently – as shown by the thin arrows. The two stations are about 0.6 miles apart. The second data visualization shows the Courthouse Metro sending a majority of its customers to both Lee and Adams and a nearby station at North Veitch and 20th Streets. Similar results will be found to and from other Metro stations.


Capital Bikeshare is a useful transit service for first-mile/last-mile trips to and from Metro, and this analysis shows that about 40 percent of bikeshare trips involving Metro are within that first and last mile.

Due to this important linkage, Arlington County will continue to place stations within this 0.25-1.0 mile hot zone around Metro stations, where land use contributes to a high residential and commercial population density. This is a no-brainer for bikeshare customers who are making these trips, but good to have some data to confirm it.

Here is a link to the presentation I gave on these findings at the recent Transportation Research Board conference in Washington D.C.

This article is cross-posted at Mobility Lab.

No comments: