New York City as Seen Through its Subway Stops


Image via NY Times showing where subway ridership fell in the city.

The New York Times has an interactive map up today showing where subway ridership went up or down, along with brief explanations of why the rates changed. There are a slew of interesting insights that can be gleaned from subway ridership, it turns out -- for instance, ridership plummeted around the subway line that leads to the Mets' stadium; the team had a rough year and interest was down. Ridership was also down in the financial sector -- three guesses why that was the case. There's much to be learned from looking at a city through the lens of its subways, it turns out . . .Here's the accompanying report in the Times:

Every year, New York City Transit releases a station-by-station breakdown of ridership in the biggest subway system in the nation. Shake-ups are rare; the usual suspects -- Times Square, Grand Central Station -- routinely top the list, and last year was no exception.

But 2009 was a time of uncertainty and change, and a closer examination of life on the city's underground reveals a curious resemblance to the uneasy life above the surface.

Take the J line, which snakes across a rapidly developing stretch of Williamsburg and eastern Brooklyn: nearly every station along its length gained riders last year. Consider Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, a locus of corporate headquarters and high-end boutiques: amid a brutal economy, the number of passengers shuffling through its turnstiles dropped by more than 11 percent.


Other observations include a huge jump in ridership at stops in the neighborhood of Long Island City, where one of the city's main unemployment assistance centers was located, drops in areas where construction jobs had petered out, and increased ridership in areas, especially in Brooklyn, where gentrification was continuing despite the recession -- as you can see in the above graphic. Below, find the graphic displaying the total number of rides over the whole of 2009.

Play around with the stop-by-stop infographic map over at the New York Times.

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Tags: Transportation | United States

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