orangelineThe Metro Trip Visualizer lets you study Metro traffic patterns, plotting results on a map. Look familiar? It’s the same tool I’ve used for the CaBi Trip Visualizer, the Hubway Trip Visualizer, and the Nice Ride Trip Visualizer. They’ve all been consolidated into a single interface.

While Metro doesn’t regularly post trip history data, they did release a chunk via their PlanItMetro blog: Data Download: Metrorail Ridership by Origin and Destination. The data is actually just a summary of the trip history data, giving station-to-station totals. Though they divide the data by time periods (AM peak, midday, PM peak, evening, and late-night peak), my tool considers only the totals.

Unlike the other data sets, the numbers here reflect average weekday trips, not overall trips. The averages were calculated from May 2012.

I’ve included clusters for the five lines (hit the first letter to view: R, B, G, O, Y), and four regional clusters: DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Arlington.

Displaying the Average Destination

I also added a new display option, “average destination.” This method displays the “weighted vector average” of a station’s trips, by calculating the average of the latitude and longitude of every trip’s destination. The arrow goes to that average location. For clusters, the arrow’s thickness is weighted by the number of trips taken there, scaled from 10 to 2 pixels.

Note the length of the arrow is unrelated to the length of the average trip, since trips in opposite directions would cancel each other out. But the direction does indicate the general direction of travel.

In other views, when you hover over a station you’re presented with the raw numbers behind the arrows, but in this case I didn’t think the raw numbers would be interesting. Instead, you’re shown the top five destinations for each station, which help shape the average destination.

This view is also available with the bikeshare datasets, so be sure to go back and give them another look.

Metro Trips Visualized

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