Pronto Post-mortem

Pronto bike share ends this Friday March 31st and I will miss it for sure. I wrote about why Pronto mattered to me and I even rode a Pronto bike in the 25 mile Obliteride last year:

In October 2015, there was a Pronto sponsored contest to visualize bikeshare ride data. I created an entry which although did not win, was a nice introduction for me to learn mapping with D3. As I was checking out the Pronto site one last time today I noticed that they had updated their publically available dataset to include 2016 ride data as well as the 2015 ride data.

To me it seems that Pronto had a hard time expanding and encouraging repeat riders. Unfortunately we do not have the membership data but if we can assume that people who did not ride much in 2015 did not renew their membership in 2016 then it looks pretty clear that Pronto was hurting more than people thought. Also, it looked like they had good success in 2015 with getting people to buy day passes especially during peak tourist season in the summer and were able to replicate that success in 2016. I feel there is a need for a dedicated bike share in Seattle however this iteration of bike share does not appear to be the solution we need.

I went back to the Pronto site to fetch all my data because of an idea I worked on then abandoned last summer. The idea was for a website that was basically Strava for Pronto whereby you compared your ride time data to everyone else’s and mapped out how fast you were compared to them. Pronto did not make it easy to download all your trip data so I ended up having to write a webscraper to get out my own data (Hint, hint Pronto 2.0!) which I put at this GitHub repository. I never was able to get my project past the personal level and my ultimate goal was to simply make a map of the route and add in plots. Here is an example of all trips from Fairview Ave N & Ward St to Westlake Ave & 6th Ave:

I’m sad that I can’t work on this project anymore but maybe with Pronto 2.0 I will be able to revist this idea.