More bike-share riders start their trips at Rittenhouse Square than any other place. Some of the most heavily traveled routes are between Center City and University City, and a surprising number of people use Indego bikes for fun.
These are just a few details revealed by six months of detailed ridership information released Thursday that shows how people are using Philadelphia's new bike-share program, Indego.
The information, compiled by the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), cataloged the details of the 308,000 rides on Indego bikes from the day the program debuted, April 22, to the end of September. The city's 700 bikes are available at 73 docking stations, with the largest density of stations in Center City.
The city and Bicycle Transit Systems, which manages the bike-share program, use the numbers to help determine which bike stations need to be expanded to meet demand, and the findings are one factor being considered in plans to add 24 stations this year.
"It's definitely showing us where there's shortfalls, where we're running out of bikes more frequently," said Denise Goren, MOTU director, though she said it was just one source used to shape the program's future.
"This is raw data, but we hear so much from our riders and our potential riders," she said.
Personal information, including riders' credit-card numbers, was removed before the data were made public, Goren said.
A brief analysis showed the five most popular departure points on the system. Rittenhouse Square was the most popular, with 15,327 trips beginning there. The other departure points in the top five were 15th and Spruce Streets, 13th and Locust, 11th and Pine, and 23d and South.
The Art Museum likely would have been one of the most popular if it hadn't been inactive for much of September, when the area was largely cordoned off for Made in America and Pope Francis' visit. Bikes taken from the station at the Art Museum also stayed out on the longest trips, an average of 39 minutes a trip during the nearly six-month period covered by the data.
The information collected also showed where people travel. Some of the most frequent routes were between Center City and University City. There was heavy bike traffic between 23d and South Streets and University City Station, for example. Another common loop was between Rittenhouse Square and 36th and Sansom.
Riders can pay ride by ride for $4 a half-hour, get a $10 annual pass in which you pay $4 for each hour-long ride, or get a $15 monthly membership allowing unlimited rides up to an hour. About a quarter of the total rides were taken by walk-ups, people who didn't have an Indego account. More than 7,250 have Indego accounts.
Indego bikes appear to be heavily used for commuting, but one of the surprises in the data was the number of people apparently using the bikes for recreation, Goren said. Riders making round-trips, ending at the point where they began without the bike being docked in the interim, accounted for 12 percent of the total trips.
"I think it's recreational instead of journeys to work," Goren said. "Look at time of day. It's people just wanting to go for a bike ride."