The MIT Media Lab Charted the Most Used Hubway Stations in Greater Boston …

Temperature-wise, it feels like cycling season may be coming to a close in Boston. I mean that in the most unofficial sense, of course. Because you’re free to bike whenever you want and, in Cambridge, Hubway will keep it’s bike-share stations open all throughout the frigid months.

The nerds over at the MIT Media Lab are equally fascinated with Greater Boston’s biking habits, particularly those associated with Hubway, and have mapped the most popular Hubway routes cyclists take.

As you cans see in the interactive map, cyclists frequent certain routes at various times of the day than others. For example, early morning hours indicate that Hubway riders cruise down Atlantic Ave. and over to the Innovation District.

The morning progresses to show significant action in the Allston-Brighton area when classes commence, as well as across the river in Cambridge.

Come mid-afternoon, the Harvard Bridge, connecting Mass. Ave. in Boston to the intersection at Memorial Drive.

As the work day winds down, many of the stations and routes in downtown Boston become oft-used.

If you look closely at the top-left corner, you can see some action in Somerville as well.

“This map simulates the specific route and location of every Hubway rider in the city of Boston throughout a single day, and aggregates the data to uncover urban commuting patterns,” noted the Media Lab. “Individual riders are represented by green dots based on their imputed location and speed while different linewidth and color opacity represent the amount of riders using specific routes at any given time in the day.”

The Media Lab was able to construct the map after sifting through over a million rides worth of open-sourced bike-share data from 2013. They were then able to determine the top 200 station pairing and estimated different routes using Google’s API.

While the map is certainly fun to look at with all of its moving parts and pretty colors, the Media Lab hopes more than anything it’ll be put to good use by lawmakers and advocates. The data can, after all, be used to guide cities on “how cyclists use roads so they can better plan for a safe and effective infrastructure.”


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