Data Science Summer School 2014 – Self-Balancing CitiBikes

Bike 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.

Speaker Details

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.

Briana Vecchione, Donald Hanson II, Franky Rodriguez, and Jahaziel Guzman
Adelphi University, CUNY Brooklyn College, St. Joseph's College Brooklyn, Pace University