Earlier this month, an interesting preliminary study from France cyclists appeared behavior with data from the Vélo ' v-bike-share system in Lyon, France. The Vélo ' v bike sharing system is a very large system with about 4,000 bicycles available on 343 stations around the city of Lyon. For the most part, the bicycle has ' v system bike stations within each 300 M buffer zone around the city. The extensive cover reasonable rent and subscription fees, and high-tech access locking systems have Vélo ' v made one of the most famous bike-sharing systems in the world, and one on many other systems are modeled.
The extensive coverage of Vélo ' v has a unique opportunity to collect information and data about the behavior of the bike share user provided. Advertising agency JC Decaux, the Vélo ' v operates, has collected data on the use of their bicycles since the system was implemented in May 2005. JC Decaux headquarters provided a data set of Vélo ' v bike use from May 2005 until December 2007 for a group of researchers in France. The data set produced some potentially interesting results about the behavior of the urban cyclists best in turn could the help urban planners to decide how and where to add Bicycle infrastructure.
The study, which can be downloaded here looked 11.6 million trips during the two and a half year period. Each record in the dataset provides information about the place and time of the beginning and end of each trip as well as the travel distance. The data indicated that the average trip distance is located 2.49 km (1.55 mi) and that each trip takes an average of 14.7 minutes. Physics ArXiv blog are summarized many of the other results, so I do not repeat all some very interesting trends in using cycling here, but in General, the DataSet and the first paper ' v bikes, especially trends show that show peak Vélo ' v use during the week as also use peak hours during the days of the week.
The data set revealed some rather odd results, including an increase in the average speeds on Wednesday, an increase of speeds during peak hours, the average car speeds during peak times and shorter distances for cyclists as drivers between two points, indicating to Excel using shortcuts.
In particular, Lyon has some cycle paths, Jensen et. Al. wrote the first paper suggest that Vélo ' v users are riding on sidewalks, the wrong way and more. Jensen et. Al. also suggest that the higher speeds riding on Wednesday as a result of the higher proportion of men Wednesday, are as women tend to stay on this day of the week France to see children at home.
In General, I think there are a lot of opportunity on cyclists behavior from the Vélo ' v dataset, despite some of the problematic assumptions by Jensen et. Al. about sex, links and more.
In addition it it is important to note (and I can't seem to Jensen et al. paper to see this) that this study not really representative of urban cyclists behavior in Lyon (or anywhere else for that matter), since no information about people who possess their own bikes and use the Vélo ' v bikes. Yet is it encouraging to see that this type of research is carried out, and hopefully there is more coming either from other cities, bike-share systems and other types of studies. Calls have been late in the U.S. for more hard figures and data on bicycle use. But it is also important to realize that conclusions from narrow datasets (such as the bicycle ' v DataSet) can width, sweep problematic when they are used be generalizations about cyclists to make behavior.