Advertisement

Transportation

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 1205–1225 | Cite as

The impact of weather conditions on bikeshare trips in Washington, DC

  • Kyle Gebhart
  • Robert B. NolandEmail author
Article

Abstract

Bicycle usage can be affected by colder weather, precipitation, and excessive heat. The research presented here analyzes the effect of weather on the use of the Washington, DC, bikeshare system, exploiting a dataset of all trips made on the system. Hourly weather data, including temperature, rainfall, snow, wind, fog, and humidity levels are linked to hourly usage data. Statistical models linking both number of users and duration of use are estimated. Further, we evaluate trips from bikeshare stations within one quarter mile of Metro (subway) stations at times when Metro is operating. This allows us to determine whether Metro serves as a back-up option when weather conditions are unfavorable for bicycling. Results show that cold temperatures, rain, and high humidity levels reduce both the likelihood of using bikeshare and the duration of trips. Trips taken from bikeshare stations proximate to Metro stations are affected more by rain than trips not proximate to Metro stations and less likely when it is dark. This information is useful for understanding bicycling behavior and also for those planning bikeshare systems in other cities.

Keywords

Bicycle sharing Weather Transit Multivariate analysis 

References

  1. Alta Bicycle Share, Inc.: P Capital Bikeshare. http://www.capitalbikeshare.com (2012). Accessed 29 Apr 2012
  2. Bachand-Marleau, J., Lee, B.H.Y., El-Geneidy, A.M.: Towards a better understanding of the factors influencing the likelihood of using shared bicycle systems and frequency of use. In: Transportation Research Board 91st Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (2011)Google Scholar
  3. Bergström, A., Magnusson, R.: Potential of transferring car trips to bicycle during winter. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 37(8), 649–666 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brandenburg, C., Matzarakis, A., Arnberger, A.: Weather and cycling—a first approach to the effects of weather conditions on cycling. Meteorol. Appl. 14, 61–67 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buck, D., Buehler, R.: Bike lanes and other determinants of capital bikeshare trips. In: TRB 2012 Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (2012)Google Scholar
  6. Buehler, R., Pucher, J.: Cycling to work in 90 large American cities: new evidence on the role of bike paths and lanes. Transportation 1(39), 409–432 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cervero, R., Duncan, M.: Walking, bicycling, and urban landscapes: evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area. Am. J. Public Health 93(9), 1478–1483 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dill, J., Carr, T.: Bicycle commuting and facilities in major U.S. Cities: if you build them, commuters will use them—another look. Transp. Res. Rec. 1828, 116–123 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. District Department of Transportation: DCGIS.CapitalBikeSharePt, Washington, DC. http://data.dc.gov (2012)
  10. Fuller, D., Sahlqvist, S., Cummins, S., Ogilvie, D.: The impact of public transportation strikes on use of a bicycle share program in London: interrupted time series design. Prev. Med. 54, 74–76 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goodman, J.D.: Bike Sharing Expands in Washington (September 20, 2010). http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/20/bike-sharing-expands-in-washington/ (2012). Accessed 29 Apr
  12. Hamphire, R.C., Marla, L.: An analysis of bike sharing usage: explaining trip generation and attraction from observed demand. In: TRB 2012 Annual Meeting, Washington, DC (2011)Google Scholar
  13. JDAntos: Capital Bikeshare: Usage and Weather. http://jdantos.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/capital-bikeshare-usage-and-weather/ (2012). Accessed 2 Mar 2012
  14. Lathia, N., Ahmed, S., Capra, L.: Measuring the impact of opening the London shared bicycle scheme to casual users. Transp. Res. C 22, 88–102 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Met Office: National Meteorological Library and Archive: Fact Sheet 6—The Beaufort Scale (version 01). http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/4/4/Fact_Sheet_No._6_-_Beaufort_Scale.pdf (2010). Accessed 27 Apr 2012
  16. Nankervis, M.: The effect of weather and climate on bicycle commuting. Transp. Res. A 33, 417–431 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Noland, R.B., Ishaque, M.M.: Smart bicycles in an urban area: evaluation of a pilot scheme in London. J. Public Transp. 9(5), 71–95 (2006)Google Scholar
  18. Paternoster, R., Brame, R., Mazerolle, P., Piquero, A.: Using the correct statistical test for the equality of regression coefficients. Criminology 36(4), 859–866 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pucher, J., Buehler, R.: Why Canadians cycle more than Americans: a comparative analysis of bicycling trends and policies. Transp. Policy 13(3), 265–279 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pucher, J., Komanoff, C., Schimek, P.: Bicycling renaissance in North America? Recent trends and alternative policies to promote bicycling. Transp. Res. A 33, 625–654 (1999)Google Scholar
  21. Shaheen, S.A., Guzman, S., Zhang, H.: Bikesharing in Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2143, 159–167 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Thomas, T., Jaarsma, R., Tutert, B.: Exploring temporal fluctuations of daily cycling demand on Dutch cycle paths: the influence of weather on cycling. Transportation 40, 1–22 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. U.S. Navy: Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory. http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php (2012). Accessed 2 Apr
  24. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA): Metro Station Entrances (MetroEntPt) 21 Mar 2007. http://data.dc.gov/Metadata.aspx?id=97 (2012). Accessed 15 Apr
  25. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: “Metrorail Timetable.” http://www.wmata.com/pdfs/rail/Midday.pdf (7 Sep 2006). Accessed 25 Apr 2012
  26. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: Stations. http://www.wmata.com/rail/stations.cfm (2012). Accessed 18 Apr 2012
  27. Washington, S.P., Karlaftis, M.G., Mannering, F.L.: Statistical and Econometric Methods for Transportation Data Analysis. Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Weather Underground. http://www.weatherunderground.com (2012). Accessed 10 Feb 2012
  29. Winters, M., Friesen, M.C., Koehoorn, M., Teschke, K.: Utilitarian bicycling: a multilevel analysis of climate and personal influences. Am. J. Prev. Med. 32(1), 52–58 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York City Department of TransportationNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public PolicyRutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

Personalised recommendations