Here’s one more reason to get excited about the launch of bike-share later this year: the reams of data generated by the GPS units located in every public bicycle. The Department of Transportation will use that data to inform their bike lane planning, commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan revealed last night.
Right now, data on individual bike trips are very scarce. While bike-share trips aren’t representative of the larger set of bike trips, the ability to track exactly where a large set of riders bike and at what speeds could be quite valuable for bike planning. DOT has used taxi GPS data to measure traffic speeds in Manhattan and evaluate initiatives like the pedestrianization of parts of Broadway, and there’s far more than can still be done with that kind of rich data set. Bike-sharing could start to build a similar toolkit for bikes.