Journal of Geo-information Science ›› 2019, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (1): 25-35.doi: 10.12082/dqxxkx.2019.180199

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Usage Patterns and Driving Mechanisms of Public Bicycle Systems in Small and Medium-Sized Cities based on Space-Time Data Mining

Luyi WANG1,5(), Jiansheng WU1,2,*(), Weifeng LI3,4   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory for Urban Habitant Environment Science and Technology, School of Urban Planning and Design, Peking University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China
    2. Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    3. Department of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hongkong 999077, China
    4. Shenzhen Institute of Research and Innovation, The University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen 518057, China
    5. Map Division, Didi Chuxing, Beijing 100094, China
  • Received:2018-04-23 Revised:2018-09-23 Online:2019-01-20 Published:2019-01-20
  • Contact: Jiansheng WU;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41471370


Given the importance of environment-friendly cities, the development of public bicycle systems (PBSs) has become more popular in recent years around the world. The purpose of this study was to explore the usage patterns of PBSs in small and medium-sized cities in Guangdong province, China, and to infer the driving mechanisms of system attributes and the built environment. The research applied time series analysis of global activity patterns, hierarchical clustering algorithm using Dynamic Time Warping distances as features and spatial data visualization on station-based data, and then compared different systems by employing a random forest algorithm to evaluate the influencing factors. The study objective was to better understand the relationship between public bicycle usage activity and underlying built environment characteristics. In Huicheng District of Huizhou City and Shaoguan City, the public bicycle usage patterns are regular, and bicycle stations are grouped into several clusters based on usage patterns of "morning destination, night origin" "morning origin, night destination" and "steady throughout the day". The PBS in Huicheng District plays various roles by helping users commute to and from jobs and schools, and to make short distance trips. The PBS also is a complementary tool for bus transit facilities. The PBS in Shaoguan City mostly serves as a mode for commuting. The PBS is inefficiently used in Huiyang District of Huizhou City owing to the poor road conditions. This research provides a study framework that can be reproduced in other areas, and offers a way of optimizing PBSs, thereby assisting urban transportation planning and urban land use allocation.

Key words: public bicycle, small and medium-sized cities, spatio-temporal data mining, random forest, driving mechanisms