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Data Shows, Chicago Loves Its Divvy Bikes

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — September 28th of 2013 was a perfect day for a bike ride: The sun was shining, a gentle southerly breeze kept temperatures in the 70s.

For the city’s bike sharing system, it was a watershed moment: The busiest day in the first sixth months of operations.

This is one of many facts that Divvy knows about its riders.

It recently held a contest, asking people to dig into its data and create dazzling visualizations. The winners of the contest, along with all of the entries are be found here.

The results were impressive. The data is interesting.

Jessica Baker won for Best Overall Visualzation for what Divvy said was a “fun and easy to understand infographic … it successfully communicates a broad range of useful and insightful information in an aesthetically pleasing way. It also provides context to Divvy’s usage patterns as a distinctly Chicago transit system.”

For example, Baker notes riders totaled 15,521,632 minutes of riding. In that amount of time, one could watch “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off” more the 150,000 times.

The first Divvy ride occurred exactly three months (6/28/13) before the busiest day.

According to Baker’s analysis, slightly more than half of Divvy riders are subscribers who pay $75 annually for unlimited rides–or the price of a ticket to see the Chicago Blackhawks.

The cold weather didn’t stop Divvy loyalists from using the system, which includes 4,000 bikes and 400 stations in the city. On Dec. 2, the coldest day of 2013, recorded about 7,500 rides–the busiest day of that month.

The busiest station? Streeter Drive and Illinois Street, followed closely by Millennium Park.

Divvy subscriber riders are overwhelmingly male–80 percent. (Come on, ladies!)

The busiest day is Saturday, followed by Friday and Sunday. Thursday is the slowest day of the week.

Illustrating that many people use Divvy to commute to work, both morning and afternoon rush hours are the busiest time of day.

5 p.m. is the busiest hour, while 4 a.m. is the slowest. The slowest day of the year? Christmas Day.

Non subscribers use Divvy for an average of 30.4 minutes, while subscribers are all business, spending an average of about 15 minutes on a bike.

And, in what is perhaps the most amazing fact of all, the oldest Divvy subscriber was born in 1907!

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