2014 Ridership Data Now Available

May 15th, 2014

For all the transit researchers and data-junkies out there, we now have a tremendous resource for better understanding ridership patterns in SORTA’s system. I have just taken delivery of this glorious data, the weekday average of boardings, alightings, and bus-load for every scheduled weekday stop for a two month period of 2014.

This means we now have spatial and temporal attributes for average ridership on every part of scheduled weekday service. When people get on, where they get off(and vice-versa) and the average load of a bus at every point in every trip.  This can answer questions like:

On average, how many people board the m+ at its XU stop on the morning’s first run at x:xx(some specific time)? How does ridership at this stop develop through the day? How is the overall morning flow of riders different from the afternoon rush? To what extent is ridership skewed to the rush hours and how many people are riding in the off-peak hours?

I have uploaded a zip file on the Data page of this site and will update it with some helpful derivatives once I’ve had a chance to play with the data myself. Please leave a comment if you find this useful, if you can share your own analysis with us, or if you just have any questions about the data I can help answer!

2 responses to “2014 Ridership Data Now Available”

  1. John Back says:

    This is great data. I’m curious about the logistics of how this works. How do they measure how many people get off at a certain time? Does the bus driver make some sort of note, or is there a sensor on the door, or what?

    • Nate Wessel says:

      I’m 90% sure it’s a sensor over each door. And it’s not perfect, but it should give us a pretty good idea. I think they have an intern at least once a year who rides the buses and compares his tally to the sensors too.

      I also have a similar dataset from TANK, which I haven’t shared yet, that is actually the result of TANK employees riding each line one at a time and taking notes on a clip-board or something.