How does weather impact bike traffic in Montreal?

(Cover photo: Michel Rathwell ; Ce billet est aussi disponible en français)

Bixi Montréal was the first major bike share in North America when it opened in 2009. The technology was sold and the familiar Bixi bikes can now be seen in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., London, and many other cities around the world. Bixi’s open data contains information on all trips since 2014 that last longer than 1 minute and shorter than 2 hours, including start/end times and docking stations. There’s a lot to analyze. In particular, I’m interested in how the weather dictates the usage of Bixi. In addition, the City of Montreal has about 20 bicycle counters set up along various bike routes in the city. While this data is a bit less reliable than Bixi’s (several counters have had outages that are not always easy to detect in the data), it’s useful in that Bixi only operates from April 15-November 15. Bike counter data will allow us to see how cyclists react when temperatures drop during the winter.

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