Data Science Summer School 2014 – Self-Balancing CitiBikes


August 12, 2014


sharing is an internationally implemented system for reducing public transit
congestion, minimizing carbon emissions, and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
Since New York City’s launch of the CitiBike program in May 2013, however,
various issues have arisen due to overcrowding and general flow. In response to
these issues, CitiBike employees redistribute bicycles by vehicle throughout
the New York City area. During the past year, over 500,000 bikes have been
redistributed in this fashion. This solution is financially taxing,
environmentally and economically inefficient, and often suffers from timing
issues. What if CitiBike instead used its clientele to redistribute bicycles?

In this
talk, we will describe the data analysis that we conducted in hopes of creating
an incentive and rerouting scheme for riders to self-balance the system. We
anticipate that we can decrease vehicle transportations by offering financial
incentives to take bikes from relatively full stations and return bikes to
relatively empty stations (with rerouting advice provided via an app). We used
publicly available data obtained via the CitiBike website, consisting of
starting and ending locations, times, and user characteristics for each trip
taken from July 2013 through May 2014. Using this dataset, we estimated
CitiBike traffic flow, which enabled us to build agent-based simulation models
in response to incentives and rerouting information. By estimating various
parameters under which to organize incentive schemes, we found that such a program
would help to improve CitiBike’s environmentalism and increase productivity, as
well as being financially beneficial for both CitiBike and its riders.


Briana Vecchione, Donald Hanson II, Franky Rodriguez, and Jahaziel Guzman

My name is Donald Hanson II and I’m from Laurelton, New York. I am a Computer Science Major with a minor in Music at Adelphi University. People usually say that I am a guy who likes to stay positive and motivated, and I think that describes me very well; I always try to make the best of every situation.

My name is Jahaziel Guzman, but some people also call me Jaxi. I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and have been living in Brooklyn since 1996. I have had an interest in Music and Visual Art since I was a child. In my freshman year of college I developed an interest for Math and Programming. I also had the opportunity to work in a Biology lab at Brooklyn College doing bioinformatics work. This has influenced my interest in a career in computational science.

My name is Franky Rodriguez. I was born in Mexico, grew up in Miami, and now I’m doing a double major in Mathematics and Computer Information Technology at St. Joseph’s College Brooklyn. I love challenging my mind and finding solutions and applications of many different problems. In my spare time I indulge in playing and composing music. I also enjoy playing basketball and racquetball.

Briana Vecchione is a rising CS Junior at Pace University. Though relatively new to the field, Briana is a member of both the Pforzheimer Honors College and the Seidenberg Creative Lab on campus. Her background consists mostly of web design, game design, and app development. In addition to DS3, Briana is also in the process of developing educational applications for international implementation in Senegal. She anticipates getting her PhD and working to utilize technology in developing regions.