See a year’s worth of New York City taxi rides mapped out

This cool interactive map displays ridership trends, such as the most frequented pickup spots, in hopes of making New Yorkers more amenable to ride sharing

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Screenshot of HubCab, showing pickups and drop-offs of all 170 million taxi trips over one year in New York City

Screenshot of HubCab, showing pickups and drop-offs of all 170 million taxi trips over one year in New York City Image courtesy the MIT Senseable City Lab

While Uber may be the word on everybody’s lips, millions continue to whistle for the city’s yellow taxis; in fact, 170 million rides were hailed on 13,500 medallion cabs in 2011. HubCab, a project by the MIT Senseable City Lab, maps the entirety of those comings and goings.


The interactive map uses information gathered from the taxis’ GPS to track trends in ridership. The bright yellow lines mark pickup spots; as you can see in the image above, they're at their most dense in Manhattan around midtown and downtown, with bright clusters around La Guardia and JFK. The web of blue lines stand for drop-offs, which fizzle out in the outer boroughs and north Harlem. The map allows you to change the time of day, and you can also click on any spot to learn how many riders hopped on or off at that location, the average duration of their trip, and the average number of miles traveled at a specific location and time. You can even learn how many people take your route to and from different places at different points in the day.


The researchers behind the project hope that HubCab might make New Yorkers notice the redundant rides happening all over the city and better understand how a ride-share program would benefit both them and their environs. According to their data, the number of taxi rides in New York could be reduced by 40 percent if people going to and from the same places were simply willing to share taxis. If an app were developed to help NYCers find others going their way, they could both cut down on their own cab costs and save the city from the unnecessary pollution and traffic caused by each of us taking our own ride.


(h/t Gizmodo)


Screenshot of HubCab, showing taxi flows and potential taxi sharing benefits between two locations in Manhattan

Screenshot of HubCab, showing taxi flows and potential taxi sharing benefits between two locations in Manhattan Image courtesy the MIT Senseable City Lab


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