Explore Hubway

Michelle Thomas, Katie Marlowe, and Jane Coffrin

The data say that people are most frequently using Hubway on weekdays and that some stops are more utilized than others, such as South Station and MIT at Mass Ave.  We want to tell this story because if more people take advantage of what Hubway has to offer, it can lead to enjoyment, health benefits and environmental benefits . Our audience is existing Hubway users and encouraging new users to join (specifically targeting those who are college age). We use the data about their trips to encourage them to take more trips. Our goals are to encourage Hubway Riders to explore Boston and use Hubway on the weekends as well as for their daily commutes.

Our data comes from http://hubwaydatachallenge.org, and includes every trip taken through 2013. When we looked through the data, we saw that there were many more trips on weekdays than there were on weekends. From that we gathered that there are many people using Hubway for their daily commute to/from work or school, but they aren’t using it as much for other activities such as exploring a new neighborhood. The data also told us that there are many stations that are very heavily used and had 15,000 or more trips ending at them, whereas some stations were used very little and had less than 1,000 trips ending at them. From this we decided on a goal of encouraging Hubway riders to utilize Hubway for more exploration of Boston, which comes from incentivizing them to use Hubway for reasons outside of their daily commute.


We decided to create a concept for a mobile phone application that users would get for free with their purchase of a Hubway membership. The application, Explore Hubway, links to users’ accounts, and tracks the information about their rides. The features of the application include:

Social Networking: The application includes a social networking aspect, allowing users to see what their friends are doing. This serves as a form of extrinsic motivation, incentivizing users to bike more so they can show off to their network.

Earn Badges: Explore Hubway also incentivizes users by earning badges, which each are worth a certain amount of points. This is also a form of extrinsic motivation to get out and bike more.

PrintProfile: Each user has a profile page, where they can view stats about themselves, a form of intrinsic motivation.

Rewards: Users can cash in the points they earn in for real rewards, which for many users, would probably be the biggest piece of motivation. These rewards come from the Hubway Bicycle Benefits program that is already in place. The rewards program also helps the businesses by getting bikers to visit their stores.

Leadership Board: Users can see how they stack up against other Boston riders.

Map: The map feature allows users to easily see where they can find a Hubway station nearby. Users can also search for stations by both station number and station name.

Because the app is linked to the user’s Hubway membership, it would be able to keep track of when you check bikes in and out of stations. This means it will keep track of badges for the user and knows when a new station used. It also means that at the end of the ride the app will send the user a notification on their phone and show up with one of several possibilities such as: the number of people who used the end station in the past month, the number of minutes the trip took, the number of calories burned, how the length of your trip compares to the average trip length. These notifications will serve as immediate feedback and another intrinsic motivation to continue to use Hubway.


Check out the other concept pictures here!