For most its history, Capital Bikeshare’s busiest individual station has been at Dupont Circle. Not anymore. As of this summer, the Lincoln Memorial station is the new king.
This animation shows trips coming and going to the Lincoln station.
Video from Mobility Lab.
Capital Bikeshare’s most recent usage data is from its third quarter report, and covers the period from July 2014 through September.
During that period, the station at Massachusetts Avenue and Dupont Circle NW (historically the busiest) served 42,237 total trips. That’s an average of 459 per day.
But the Lincoln Memorial station served 44,177 total trips over the same period, averaging 480 per day.
Follow the tourists
Dupont Circle is usually the busiest station because it combines a nearly perfect storm of bikeshare ridership ingredients: Lots of nearby bike lanes, a Metro station feeding transfers, high job and population density, and a busy nightlife. It’s hopping at nearly all hours.
The Lincoln Memorial has virtually none of those things, but does have its own advantages. It’s one of the most popular parts of the National Mall, and is a far walk from convenient transit. For tourists who don’t want to drive and aren’t part of a group with a tour bus, bikeshare is an obvious way to access the Lincoln.
The animation shows how tourists drive most of the station’s usage. Blue lines show trips from regular members, while red lines are trips from short term users more likely to be tourists. Aside from a spike of blue around rush hour, the animation is a flood of red lines.
It probably won’t last
Will the new champion hold its spot, or will the Lincoln’s dynasty prove fleeting?
Tourists flock to Washington in the summer, but there are far fewer of them in the winter. When data for autumn comes out, it’s extremely unlikely the Lincoln will still be the busiest station. Odds are that honor will return to Dupont.
And next summer, bikeshare will face added competition from the new DC Circulator route scheduled to run along the National Mall beginning in 2015.
So this may well be the Lincoln’s only moment in the sun. It will be interesting to follow.