15_the_circle: (capital bikeshare)
15_the_circle ([personal profile] 15_the_circle) wrote2011-04-24 12:46 am

balancing supply and demand

[OT from cottage renovations]

Spring is sprung and as the weather improves Capital Bikeshare usage is experiencing a large but predictable seasonal upswing, augmented by a recent fire sale promotion which doubled membership. 
There are now over 10,000 subscribers. 

The bikeshare system is completely addictive and over the winter was easy to use but it is now becoming increasingly difficult to find a bike or dock when needed and the system operator is having to scramble to keep up with demand. 

It all happens on the margin: each station without a bike is a trip that can’t start (or without an open dock is one that can’t end) representing a service failure for the next subscriber who comes along. 

Since system status is available as a near real time XML feed it didn't take much effort at all to put together a simple page showing bike and dock depletion updated hourly throughout the current day, as well as another one for the previous day’s performance.  If nothing else perhaps they can help subscribers and other stakeholders assess how the operator deals with the situation.