Predicting Cycling Traffic in Cities: Is bike-sharing data representative of the cycling volume? (Proposals Track)

Silke K. Kaiser (Hertie School)

Paper PDF Cite


A higher share of cycling in cities can lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a decrease in noise pollution, and personal health benefits. Data-driven approaches to planning new infrastructure to promote cycling are rare, mainly because data on cycling volume are only available selectively. By leveraging new and more granular data sources, we predict bicycle count measurements in Berlin, using data from free-floating bike-sharing systems in addition to weather, vacation, infrastructure, and socioeconomic indicators. To reach a high prediction accuracy given the diverse data, we make use of machine learning techniques. Our goal is to ultimately predict traffic volume on all streets beyond those with counters and to understand the variance in feature importance across time and space. Results indicate that bike-sharing data are valuable to improve the predictive performance, especially in cases with high outliers, and help generalize the models to new locations.