March is almost over and SXSW 2017 is in the rear-view mirror. It's a good time to look back at some of the numbers and answer the question: how did Austin B-cycle do at SXSW?
1. Fewer trips than 2016...
The Austin B-cycle system logged a total of 15,062 trips during SXSW 2017. This is easily on of our busiest periods, but this year saw a 10% drop in trips from last year. The primary reason for this was the rainy and cold weekend of Interactive. Other factors--the launch of unregulated bike share competitors, the increase in our day pass rates, the absence of large events like Fader Fort and Hype Hotel--may have also contributed, but only slightly.
2. ...but more riding
Despite having fewer trips than in 2016, B-cycles were checked out for more time. Riders had bikes checked out for a total of 413,410 minutes, or an average trip of 27 minutes, marking an increase of 6.5% over 2016. At the beginning of this year we increase the ride time included with check-outs from 30 to 60-minutes in response to feedback from our riders. We're happy to see folks use the system for more of what they want.
3. Good for your health... and the environment!
Those 15 thousand trips account for 45,372 miles that were not traveled in cars. That's an estimated 1.8 million calories burned by riders and an estimated 42.8 thousand pounds of CO2 not released into the air.
4. Rebalancing and Valets
Logging 15,000 trips in 10 days on a fleet of just 398 bikes takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work. During SXSW our vehicles and valets moved a total of 3,948 bikes around. Our operations specialists are constantly rebalancing the system using trucks to move bikes from full to empty stations. In addition, during special events we staff bike valets around the Convention Center and other busy locations to ensure that stations always have bikes and open docks available.
5. Peak hours
We hit our peak usage on Saturday 3/18 at 4pm. In that hour, riders checked out 231 bikes. There were hours at a time that day when over one third of our bike fleet was in use. And no surprise: it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday, the last day of the festival, with lots of people buzzing around the city to catch shows and parties!
All told this was a very good SXSW for Austin B-cycle. Thanks to all our staff and volunteers, to the festival organizers and the City of Austin, and especially to all our riders!