Belfast Bike Hire Rentals & Returns

Screenshot of the Tableau Dashboard. Available [here] and at the end of this post.

[Note: the dashboard is best viewed in Full Screen (F11) Mode]

This Visualisation uses two datasources provided by OpenDataNI. The first is the Belfast Bike Hire Rentals and Returns dataset ( Along with the numbers or Rentals and Returns, it is broken down by Location, Month, and Year. Each location name is accompanied by a Station Number. This is used as the key to join to the Belfast Bike Hire Stations dataset ( which, among other things, has contains the Latitude & Longitude (even if it is mistitled 'Longfitude'). There are a number of location naming inconsistencies in the Rentals data, so I've used the names as supplied in the Stations resource instead.

The left side of the visualisation is taken up with a map of central Belfast. There is a dot for every Bike Station, sized by the number of Rentals or Returns & coloured on a diverging Red-Blue palette for added clarity. The colour palate is continued on the bar chart to the right, listing Bike Stations by popularity. Above this, a trending a simple line chart plots the popularity of Rentals and Returns by month.

To this I have added a very simple Pickup vs Drop Off Analysis. I've simply subtracted the numbers of Rentals from the Returns and graphed the differences. Positive numbers (in the blue colour) indicate that more bikes were picked up at these locations than were dropped off. The other end of the graph shows the minus figures (in orange) indicating locations where more bikes were dropped off rather than picked up. A preliminary analysis of this data indicates that, on the whole, bikes were picked up at locations peripheral to the city and deposited in the centre, rather than the other way about.

The data can be investigated further using the Date Range Callipers and the filter to switch between Rentals, Returns, or show both together. As always, clicking on a dot or bar (Ctrl+click for multiple selections) filters the other graphs accordingly.

Icon by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

If there are issues with this embedded version, try the dashboard on my Tableau Public page [here]. Best viewed in Full Screen (F11) Mode


  1. christania’s “bike rental copenhagen” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.


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