Millions of commuters—including you?!?—rely on taking the subway every day, despite the fact that it is a disgusting warzone. Based on our collective urban obsession with everything that happens to or upon our perpetually broken, leaderless mass transit system, New Yorkers all have some form of Stockholm syndrome at this point. And in that spirit, we sure do love obsessing over interactive subway data.
Myles Zhang, an undergraduate student at Columbia University, took a ton of 2017 MTA ridership data to create the interactive maps and video below to better visualize how we use the subway, when we use the subway, and where we most use the subway.
(To navigate the maps below, click on the right arrow, and then on the second directional tool.)
Analyzing and plotting it onto the city map, Zhang used dots (color-coded according to subway lines) to create a more dynamic accounting of the data. White dots are junctions between two or more lines, and dot size corresponds to the number of riders who swipe into each station in a 24-hour period. The larger the dots, the busier the station.
As Zhang wrote, "Commuting patterns are analogous to the rhythmic expansion and contraction of the human body while breathing. By contrasting weekday and weekend ridership patterns, we detect the city’s respiratory system. Each passenger symbolizes the movement of a single blood cell, operating as one cellular unit in a complex system." Check that video out below: