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Bike Share London

The Most Popular Bike Share Routes in London

Following on from my map of all the first million or so bike routes, Here are the most popular bike share routes in London, based on flow data for August, September and October 2010.

Weekdays – the map below shows where there were more than 200 journeys (in either direction) in the weekdays during the period. The line thickness grows by one pixel for each 100 journeys:

Flows here are dominated by commuters going to/from King’s Cross station to Bloomsbury, and Waterloo and London Bridge stations to the City. A short hop to Notting Hill Gate station, in the far west of the scheme, is also popular, as is the Broad Walk route through Kensington Gardens.

The top 5 weekday journeys are:

  • Finsbury Circus, Liverpool Street Newgate Street, St. Paul’s
  • Queen Street, Bank Concert Hall Approach 2, South Bank
  • Turquoise Island, Notting Hill Notting Hill Gate Station, Notting Hill
  • Lexham Gardens, Kensington Wright’s Lane, Kensington
  • Holborn Circus, Holborn Concert Hall Approach 2, South Bank

Weekends – the map below shows where there were more than 50 journeys in total (in either direction) in the weekends during the period. The line thickness grows by one pixel for each 50 journeys:

The parks – Hyde Park and Regent’s Park in particular – are much more popular at the weekends, as is Angel and London Bridge. Docks around the British Museum and the Museum of London are also popular. The City itself is, as expected, virtually dead at weekends for Bike Share users.

The top 5 weekend journeys are:

  • Black Lion Gate, Kensington Gardens Palace Gate, Kensington Gardens
  • Hyde Park Corner, Hyde Park Black Lion Gate, Kensington Gardens
  • Warwick Avenue Station, Maida Vale Clifton Road, Maida Vale
  • Turquoise Island, Notting Hill Notting Hill Gate Station, Notting Hill
  • Westbourne Grove, Bayswater Turquoise Island, Notting Hill

4 replies on “The Most Popular Bike Share Routes in London”

Hi Ollie
This is a nice post. I like the way you’ve looked at flows at different times. You big interactive map is cool, too. One comment on it, though – using colour for direction of travel is a bit confusing. The eastwards lines are hard to see. Other than that, great effort, and congrats for getting the data analyses so quick.

I did some analysis last night on the ten most used bikes, to see where they get to. Click here to see it. I find the unknown story of each bike very appealing – all those journeys by all those people, and we will never know the purpose…

Hi Ollie, this is interesting in relation to the economist article arguing that TfL did not want the bike hire scheme to serve the rail commuter market, as that’s exactly what is happening. Should TfL build very large stands with hundreds of bikes at rail stations, or is this demand simply too large to serve?

Might be nice to show how those two way flows are very tidal in nature.

[…] The average duration of a hire journey was 16 minutes. The longest hire lasted an epic 33 days though only 5 % of journeys lasted longer than the first 30 minutes which is free (beyond the membership fee). Journeys that began in the western part of central London lasted, on average, longer than journeys beginning further east. Docking stations in places like Kensington, Bayswater, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill had journeys averaging above 20 minutes while journeys beginning in the City and the South Bank averaged 12-14 minutes. This may reflect the fact that docking stations are fewer and further between in the west than in the centre and east and that journeys originating in the west are more likely to have to cross a large park to get to their destination. Are the 48 docking stations that are missing from the planned 400 predominantly in the west? Could it be that the culprit is notoriously cycle-unfriendly Westminster Council, refusing planning permission for docking stations? Or is it that bike hire is dominated by weekday commuters going to the city, as Oliver O’Brien has observed. […]

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