DDOT has posted the presentation they made at the recent meeting on Capital Bikeshare expansion, including a great map of stations which are under-utilized, over-utilized, and “just right.”


Map showing under-utilized (red), over-utilized (blue), and adequate (yellow) stations.
Image from DDOT. Click to enlarge (PDF).



This isn’t a simple map of which stations get empty and full. Rather, as DDOT’s Ralph Burns explained at the recent meeting, DDOT weighed the amount of time it’s empty and full, the total traffic, and an estimate of the revenue from that station. Blue stations have high usage and/or revenue and more time empty and full, while red stations are the opposite. Yellow is the “sweet spot” where revenues are good but the station isn’t too popular that it’s often unavailable.

Red dots in areas near many yellow and blue dots signify potential opportunities to move stations, though with substantial funding for new stations DDOT may be better off just focusing on finding places to add stations rather than move many existing ones quite yet.

The red stations at the periphery do not necessarily mean they should be removed; any station at the edge of a system will see less use because people can only travel one way from that station. Some yellow stations may be in balance because people are traveling from a red station to the yellow one, then others from the yellow one to a blue one.

But two areas seem most ripe for the greatest investment in new stations: the blue zone, where demand is exceeding capacity, and also those edges with yellow or blue stations. If a station near the edge is getting overuse or even adequate use, it’s likely that the demand exists for more stations in the unserved areas just beyond.

Arlington is engaged in a similar planning process and is having their public meeting on June 27. They’ve also posted a map of proposed locations:


Image from Arlington County. Click to enlarge.


Update: Added an explanation of the methodology DDOT used for the dots, based on their explanations at the meeting.

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.