Monday, January 4, 2010

Dublin Bikes usage

A few days ago (last year!) I picked up a snippet in the Irish Times about the success of the Dublin Bikes scheme. In it, figures from the council are quoted showing that almost 16k people have signed up for the annual pass with another almost 7k short term tickets were sold.

So far, so good. But then the really odd number is quoted - over 200k journeys have been taken since September. If we assume that the short term ticket users only used them once each, that gives us about 12 or 13 trips per annual subscriber over the three month period. If the short termers are bigger users, that average falls even further.

Now I personally use the bikes about 5 times per week, depending on which buses I get to and from work and whether I want to do some lunchtime shopping up town. Unfortunately, the online system only allows me to see my last 3 weeks of use which includes Christmas when I wasn't in town at all so I don't have lots of data to back it up but between 15th and 23rd Dec I took 7 trips. So that means I'm probably using the bikes about 4 to 5 times the average.

The other interesting figure given is the number of bikes (450) which means the average bike has been out on over 400 spins around the city centre. I'm sure that there are lots of other bits of information you could extract if you had access to the entire trip database - profiles of users, locations of hotspots, tidal shifts of bikes over the day. Damn you, data protection act, for keeping this information from a data mining nerd like me.

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