clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Visualizing the 1.6 Billion MetroCard Swipes of 2011

New, 11 comments

The MTA constantly collects data about ridership, and with 1.6 billion MetroCard swipes just last year, that means the MTA is swimming in data. So what to do with all this data? Simple. Release it to the public and let someone else figure out how to make it useful. John Geraci of consulting company faberNovel has taken on the task, creating maps and charts showing things like subway stations were used the most, what type of people use these stations, and the number of riders in a borough versus the number of stations in that borough. "This is such a big sprawling thing," Geraci told the Atlantic Cities. "This data was not created really with this in mind, with the idea of being seen by people. It's like data exhaust."

Because the MTA only requires riders to swipe their cards before getting on the train, they are only really collecting data at the point of entry. FaberNovel's interactive site lets you poke through some of the organized data with a clean, easy-to-use interface. They examine the types of MetroCards, like those distributed to elementary and high school students and those for seniors or the disabled, creating maps showing their main points of entry, along with the number of riders.

FaberNovel has just scratched the surface of the MTA's data pool, and they'll continue to explore how this data can be used to improve public transit. In the meantime, click through for mapping data fun.
· Visualizing the New York Subway System's 'Data Exhaust' [AC]
· 1.6 Billion Rides [faberNovel]