Visualizing micromobility patterns across cities with Movement’s New Mobility Heatmap

Emily Strand
May 6 · 3 min read

Today, Uber launches the New Mobility heat map in eight cities across the globe: Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. This product aggregates JUMP bike and scooter activity and maps it to the city streets visualizing where these new modes are most common. This tool is the latest addition to the Uber Movement datasets which makes aggregated and anonymized mobility data free and publicly available.

Uber launched a version of this product as a part of its City Mobility Campaign, which supports legislation that requires new mobility lanes to be added as a part of street repaving projects. We are excited to build upon this initiative by adding the ability to download the New Mobility Heatmap so advocates and city planners can better incorporate this data into their work. Bill Nesper, Executive Director of the American League of Bicyclists, said of the project,

“American cities need more safe infrastructure for people biking and using micromobility, infrastructure advocates have been demanding for years. The micromobility heatmap data Uber is sharing with governments and advocates shows the demand and helps ensure that infrastructure is built where it will help the most people, especially as travel patterns have been impacted by COVID-19. The League of American Bicyclists is glad to see this effort and hopes that cities embrace bicycling infrastructure as part of creating safer, healthier, and more accessible communities.”

Typically, planners and advocates are left to rely on anecdotal evidence and dispersed bike counters to gather information about new mobility lane usages, leaving massive gaps in understanding of biking and scootering activity. The new mobility heatmap provides unprecedented coverage of new mobility activity across the city in order to understand how travel patterns of these new options may differ and where bike lanes are most needed.

We hope that cities and advocates put this data to immediate use during this time of reduced movement, and cities are able to implement “quick build projects” such as adding new mobility lanes in the coming months. As such, we analyzed bike and scooter activity in San Francisco via the new mobility heatmap to understand where micromobility activity is happening relative to bike lanes. Biking activity and bike lane infrastructure are highly correlated throughout the city. One notable exception is along Fisherman’s Wharf, where the bike lane (in green) ends yet, biking activity remains high.

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Bike lane infrastructure vs. micromobility usage in San Francisco

This data is available by time of day and for weekdays or weekends. As shown, during weekdays, most activity is in the downtown core, presumably for commuting purposes.

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Weekday micromobility activity in San Francisco

However, on weekends, activity is clustered in the Presidio and Golden Gate Park.

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Weekend micromobility activity in San Francisco

For more detail about the JUMP heatmap, see our methodology. Additionally, for more data and visualization offerings from Uber, check out Uber Movement. This heatmap and our other datasets are easily usable with the open source visualization toolkit, Kepler.gl. We look forward to seeing what you discover. Please share insights and visualizations with us at movement-research@uber.com

Uber Movement

Uber Movement provides anonymized data from over ten…

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