And here they are! I haven’t had a chance to really thoroughly pick through them yet. The data is a bit messy and I still need to write a little script to walk through that flat text file to clean it up before doing a join with the list of stop locations. But go ahead and poke around it yourself to see if you can find anything interesting. I’ll be able to get around to making some maps from this and comparing it with the 2009 data later this week or next. I’ll also share it again in a cleaned up format once I finish compiling it.
In related news, SORTA is reporting a 4.2% increase in ridership for 2012 over the previous year. I took a quick look into the National Transit Database to see how this compared to earlier years and immediately ran into a higher figure for unlinked trips in 2011 than was reported in that story for 2012. So I probably need to learn more about the methodology behind both numbers. For now, let’s celebrate a short term increase in transit use, and leave the potential downer of longitudinal context for later. Statistics is messy!
By the way, if anyone does make anything neat from this and wants to share it I’d be happy to have a guest post ;-)
“The reason for the discrepancy from the 2011 National Transit Database(NTD) data to 2012 is in the manner that the ridership data was collected. With the installation of the new fareboxes in November 2011, the ridership collection method changed from a sampling approach to a 100 percent count based on the new farebox data. Prior to 2012, Metro used an FTA approved sampling plan using ten Automated Passenger Counter (APC) equipped buses as the means to estimate the ridership that is reported to NTD. These sampling techniques are not as accurate as having a 100 percent count using our new fareboxes. I suspect that in some years they are too high and in other years they are too low. These sampling techniques have been used by the transit industry for many
decades, and were the best method of collecting ridership data before the advances in technology that we have available to us today.”