The MTA. Can't live with it (without complaining), can't live in the Big Apple without it (without a bicycle). New Yorkers love to talk about the MTA and its fares and its accidents and its budgets. But what many don't realize is just how much the modern MTA shares about its inner workings to those who want to dive in. It is quite a lot! And today they announced that they'll be sharing a little bit more every month. Huzzah for data geeks!
In the past decade the MTA has already gotten pretty good with sharing photos, videos, and information on social media and, as a public Authority, their depressing budget sheets have been available online for quite some time. Now, the MTA has announced it will be adding another bit of public information in the form of "monthly agency data" dumps.
Starting today, and theoretically continuing each month, the MTA will be putting information about the MTA's four operating agencies into a section of the books section of its website (mta.info/mta/news/books/). That means that each month you can go and check out how the MTA is doing in terms of its finances, ridership, on-time performance and crime. Want to see how much the MTA is paying for overtime? Know what the average actual non-student average fare is? What the average weekday ridership was? All of that is right there for you to find right here (the answers in December were: $75 million, $1.65, 5,284,000). And if you want data on things like the mean distance between subway failures and the number of bus collisions per million miles? Well that data is right here (the answers in December were: 180,610 miles, 45.88).
Why is the MTA releasing this data monthly now? To make up for the fact that last year the MTA board decided to reduce the number of times they met from eleven to eight. Which is another issue entirely. For the moment we're just focusing on all the data to go through: awesome if spreadsheets are your kind of thing—or you keep forgetting to refill your Ambien prescription.