As a form of public transportation, bikeshare systems have one major catch: The bikes seldom circulate themselves in quite the way planners would like. If users traveled around town in all directions, at all times of day, in relatively equal numbers, docks would empty and refill naturally. None would ever be totally empty. None would ever be completely full.
Of course, this is not how people travel in the real world (and it is not how cities are built). In Washington, commuters flood out of residential neighborhoods in the morning (emptying docks there), many aiming for the same few blocks downtown (where the docks are invariably full). In New York, riders descend on Penn Station during rush hour; they congregate around Union Square at night.
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