TFL Bike Data Vis
  • Data Vis

Since discovering TFL's Unified API I've wanted to create my own public transport ticker that would give me a morning report of the state of my commute. Whilst my soldering and Python skills are a work in progress I thought I would create something more immediate with the API — An almost live (TFL pushes data approximately every 6 minutes) scatterplot of the Santander bike network.

Sunday 15:50am, June — Sunny

I'm a huge advocate for more cycling in London, the benefits are obvious, less carbon emmsions, a fitter London and less congestion. The bike sheme was a huge precursor to cycling's growth in popularity which has doubled in the last decade according to TFL. A customer research study that took place it 2014 showed that 49% of the then known 'Barclays Cycle Hire' members say that the scheme prompted them to start cycling in London. With the introduction of 'floating' bike schemes like Ofos, Mobikes and Urbo and TFL's tiered membership cycling is increasing becoming a viable option for commuters who don't have the space for their own bikes or are worried about theft. It remains a great way to see the city on the weekend.


It's easy to notice some distinctive although not surprising patterns in usage over the course of the day. In morning between 07:30—09:30 you can see the green flows from the larger residential areas, particularly in South-West which is a popular place for city workers to live, into center of the London. In the evening, between 17:00—18:30, bikes flow back to outskirts and to transport hubs such as Waterloo, Kings Cross, Clapham Junction and London Bridge. The difference in usage numbers, displayed in the right key account for bikes that are currently in-use, broken being repaired and/or redistributed.


Friday 06:40am, June — Sunny
Friday 08:15am, June — Sunny
Friday 08:40am, June — Sunny
Friday 09:35am, June — Sunny
Friday 10:35am, June — Sunny
Friday 14:10am, June — Sunny
Friday 16:30am, June — Sunny

Outward migration starts significantly earlier on Fridays.

Friday 17:05am, June — Sunny
Friday 18:30am, June — Sunny
Friday 19:05am, June — Sunny

The website was bootstrapped with React and the map was rendered using MapBox GL.