More than 23,000 Vélib’ bikes are available in Paris through the 1232 Vélib bike sharing system stations. But are all theses bikes available at anytime? No, for sure. The number of available bikes varies according to how much circulate at a given time. Finding available bike can become difficult in some neighborhoods during the rush hour in Paris. When and where does this bicycle rush hour occurs? How to avoid traffic jams at full or empty stations?

Paris Bike Stations: A Global Snapshot

Unlike smart bike sharing systems, bikes users in Paris must return bicycles to stations. Bike are not localized and individual bicycle data is not published. However, the city of Paris updates in real time a clean and reliable data set containing all stations positions and availabilities. Station history data can show individual characteristics in Paris bikes availabilities. Taking a global snapshot, it becomes easier to visualize bikes distribution in Paris. The following map displays all bike station availabilities at the end of the afternoon of the Monday, February 6th 2017.

Vélib stations, 2017-02-06 at 6 PM

Visualizing The Bicycle Rush Hour in Paris

Situation evolves thorough the day. Most notable is the bicycle rush hour takes place from 8 AM to 10 AM in Paris, as one can witness on this animation. Monday, February 6th 2017 was a cold day. Because no rains occurred on this day, Parisians were more willing to borrow a Vélib’, displaying an exemplary rush hour in the capital.

Bicycle rush hour in Paris animation

It looks like bicycle users rush to the center of the city in the morning. As bikes fill central districts stations, peripheral ones become empty. These stations only recover at the end of the afternoon, when one could expect. North-east of Paris remains desperately empty, as always. Conversely, south-west stations keep being full, as no one seems to borrow bikes here.

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