Mapping How NYC Bike-Share Meshes With Jobs and Transit

A map of the coming bike-share system with circles scaled to represent the size of stations. Image: Steven Romalewski

Hungry for more bike-share maps? Yeah, us too. Thanks to Steven Romalewski, the director of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Mapping Service, we’ve got our fix.

In a post on his Spatiality blog, Romalewski uses GIS to analyze the 413 bike-share stations posted on DOT’s website so far. One map, shown above, shows each station with the size of the station displayed graphically. At a glance, you can see the number of docks per station decrease as you move away from employment centers and subway lines, or into Brooklyn and Queens. For an interactive version, click here.

Romalewski also found that the locations of the bike-share stations tracked the map of the subway system relatively closely — no surprise, since that’s where the density, destinations and demand are. Half of all stations are within one avenue block of a subway station, according to his analysis. Only 21 stations are more than a half-mile from the subway (the furthest is on the Hudson River Greenway, four avenues from the Port Authority).

In this map, the size of the circles marking bike-share stations represent the proximity to a subway station. Image: Steven Romalewski

Check out his full post for more cool data, including the proximity of bike-share to bus stops and how closely station sitings match online submissions for desired bike-share locations

“In general it seems that the proposed kiosks match the overall location patterns of the crowdsourced suggestions, and also support the goal of facilitating first/last mile transportation,” Romalewski concludes. “I was skeptical of the program at first (and I’m still a bit wary of so many more bikes on the road all of a sudden — I walk in fear when I cross a city street, because of cars and bikes). But now that the Citi Bike program is moving closer to reality and the numbers look so good, I’m looking forward to trying it out.”

  • Larry Littlefield

    Again, I think the hole in the map is in East Midtown, where employment concentration is intense but stations are presumably every hard to site.  It looks as if there are around 200 stations east of 6th, west of 3rd, south of 56th and north of 44th.

    In a place like that, the goal should be for someone to be able to ride to their destination and THEN look around for the nearest station.

    My hope would be that this really takes off.  It it does, perhaps some of the office landlords on, say, Park Avenue would be willing if not eager to have locations in their plazas, as a service to their tenants at no cost to themselves.

  • Shemp

    The “furthest from subway” station also serves transit – the W Side commuter ferry terminal.   The map also shows stations at all of the E. River ferry docks.    

  • Wow, those stations are huge! I was under the impression that most cities had stations with 10 to 20 bikes in most locations, with at most 50 or so in the busiest spots. New York seems to have no stations smaller than 20 bikes, even in the residential areas, and over half of the stations have 35 or more bikes. Considering the size of the system, I think this is a good idea.

  • @Shemp – good point about the bike share station near the ferry.  In my post I didn’t compare locations with other transit options like the ferries, or PATH, the Roosevelt Island tram, etc.  Also, I didn’t examine the proximity of bike share kiosks that were far from transit but close to other destinations (parks, museums, etc).  So presumably the statistics would be even better in terms of the number of kiosks near transit options and/or destination sites if these were included.

  • HamTech87

    @f9b2cb395abd5a101456b3b0a40912e1:disqus I tend to agree with your East Midtown point.  CitiBike will have its most powerful impact on areas with poor subway service.  Having friends and relatives living on the far east side, it is always a big pain to get over there.  While their lives have been made far better — just ask ’em — with SBS on the Avenues, their east-west and diagonal mobility still stinks.  They will be taking CitiBike from the Lex line to their homes, and there needs to be enough empty docks when they get there.

  • Larry Littlefield

    More to the point, it isn’t so easy to get TO, say, 47th Street and Park Avenue from, say, Penn Station or the Port Authority Bus Service.  My boss often takes two subways, with two walks and two waits, to 44th and 5th.  Or a very long walk.  It would be a short ride, if there was a place to lock nearby.