Skip

The T in February, backwards and forwards.
June 10, 2014 9:11 AM   Subscribe

An interactive visualization of Boston's subway system in February. With it, you can see where trains on the red, blue, and orange lines were at any moment on February 3 were in space and along their paths between stations, among many other things.

Some of those other things:
- You can see how congested a given stop is at any point during the day.
- You can find out how long your average commute would have been at any point during the day.

Particularly fun:
- Seeing the effect of a disabled train
- Trains being moved between stations at night
- Moving trains along the routes and map forward, then backwards.
posted by ignignokt (29 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is very cool. I wonder why the MBTA doesn't have Green line data available (maybe they don't want more evidence of how horrible the Green line is). I bet Park St. would move up to busiest station (or close to it) if the Green Line were included.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:19 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Damn. They didn't find Charlie.
posted by grounded at 9:23 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]


I wonder why the MBTA doesn't have Green line data available

The people responsible for that data got on the B Line in 2006 and are still at Packard's Corner
posted by threeants at 9:31 AM on June 10 [21 favorites]


I'd like to see green line data too, but as it's a street car service resembling something you would have seen back in 1900, the data would have to be presented separately.
posted by MillMan at 9:33 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Even the MBTA doesn't know where the Green Line is at any given point and time (at all aboveground, when it hits a switch between the lines underground). They rely heavily on operator reports to know what's going on (which I'd imagine they don't want to make public and wouldn't be too useful anyway)
posted by lakhim at 9:46 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


They're still working on the sepia tone engravings for the Green Line data set. Packard's Corner? Try getting a D at 6PM at Park Street.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:46 AM on June 10


Yeah, the Green Line doesn't have instantaneous reports, unfortunately. Which is odd, because you can hear the goddamned thing squealing and caterwauling around corners from miles away.

There's a service that'll tell you real-time where trains are at any given moment. I don't really remember where, since I'm on the Green Line.
posted by koeselitz at 9:57 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


If the horizontal axis faithfully represents distance, then steeper lines mean slower trains, right? I'm pretty sure I can see the "stop dead for 2-4 minutes just before Alewife" that the Red Line does in the morning sometimes.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:01 AM on June 10


Somewhere in Cambridge, someone plots the greatest bank robbery ever, armed with a mini cooper and open data.
posted by hanoixan at 10:06 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Tangentially related - I wasted a lot of time a while ago on the nascent gem Mini Metro, a sort-of subway construction game. It's fun, cheap (or free if you prefer, download or online) and stupendously simple.

I just hope they manage to turn it into a proper game without losing the charm... will be checking it out again when they do a "launch" release.

Like I say, only loosely related to the post, but I was reminded of it and got all excited about the game again ;)
posted by samworm at 10:06 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


This visualization presentation is fantastic. I'm itching to try to adapt it to Nextbus data for San Francisco Muni. But then I'd be depressed for the next month.
posted by Nelson at 10:08 AM on June 10


In April I was stuck for 20 minutes between Harvard and Central on an inbound train. The power went out and the driver just said the train was being held. Someone was talking to their mom on their phone, and in the eerie, powered-down silence of the train car, everybody started involuntarily eavesdropping on her conversation.

Her: "Umm...mom...everybody is listening to me talk to you right now. I can't keep talking."

Everyone in the train: *bursts out laughing*

Her: *laughing* "Yeah, that's them. Bye mom."
posted by Beardman at 10:08 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


Well they do have the data for the A line. What, you can't see it?

But seriously, apparently the green line trains aren't equipped with the tracking technology that trains on the other lines have, so it may be a while before we get their data (or get the predictive announcements that the other lines have).
posted by A dead Quaker at 10:14 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


I have a hypothesis this data could help examine, but I'm not quite sure how. The theory is if you're on the red line, and are wondering what station you're about to pull into, it's Harvard. (The trains slow down when you're near Harvard, so this isn't completely nuts).
posted by nat at 10:22 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the Green Line doesn't have instantaneous reports, unfortunately. Which is odd, because you can hear the goddamned thing squealing and caterwauling around corners from miles away.

Now that I've lived in Boston for a few years, hearing the C train (which I live a block away from) squealing is sorta comforting tbh.
posted by dismas at 10:29 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I have a hypothesis this data could help examine, but I'm not quite sure how. The theory is if you're on the red line, and are wondering what station you're about to pull into, it's Harvard.

The answer is actually "one or two fewer than you expect," and the variation is directly related to how late you are. For example, every morning I pause from reading and think "this is Kendall coming up, right?" only to hear "now entering... Central Square."
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:33 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


This is very cool. Thanks for posting.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:34 AM on June 10


beautiful.
posted by Gankmore at 10:36 AM on June 10


There's a service that'll tell you real-time where trains are at any given moment. I don't really remember where, since I'm on the Green Line.

I know that the ProximiT app does this pretty well. Again, not that I get the chance to use it often, because I too am on the Green Line.

(Apparently there needs to be a Mefi "Green Line" support group Meetup. I'd propose Government Center but . . . doh!)
posted by jeremias at 10:44 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Am I the only person who was sad about Government Center closing because of the Jonathan Richman song?
posted by pxe2000 at 11:05 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I don't know the Jonathan Richman song, and "Eleanor Rigby" popped into my head instead:

Government Center
Shut down in March and will stay closed till 2016
No one was keen
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:24 AM on June 10 [15 favorites]


Dear Sir or Madam working for the T,
the new construction will inconvenience me
I never liked the look of the City Hall,
but I have a job,
and I need to get to Government Center
Government Center
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:36 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Brand New's Logan to Government Center 'cause why not.
posted by dismas at 11:55 AM on June 10


Damn. They didn't find Charlie.

Oh, they know where Charlie is. He's at Government Center at 2:15 every day. The worst victim of the Government Center closure is Charlie who will be sandwichless for two years.
posted by maryr at 12:09 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Let them shut it down
Won't be going to
Government Center
No one will enter
And no one will be coming out
Government Center is clo-sed.
posted by Spatch at 1:54 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I never understood why Charlie's wife came every day with a sandwich but never gave him the damn nickel.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:59 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Transit Delays: visualization of SF Muni reality vs. the mostly fictional schedule. Also data for Washington DC and Boston.
posted by Nelson at 1:16 PM on June 13


I can't get the Boston data to show up on that Transit Delays page.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:26 PM on June 13


They've posted a handout detailing their work.
posted by saizai at 5:49 PM on June 14


« Older Not Alone.   |   "Just because we have the best hammer" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post