NYC's Taxis Offer Rare Insights into City Driving Patterns

With New York's fleet of more than 13,000 taxi cabs transmitting Global Positioning System (GPS) data, the city's Department of Transportation has been able to develop a highly detailed picture of traffic patterns in the Big Apple.
August 20, 2012, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Ted Mann discusses some of the fascinating findings included in the NYC DOT's Sustainable Streets Index, "an annual report to be issued Monday that describes in rare detail how people move through the nation's most densely packed city."

In addition to providing random trivia such as the best and worst days of the year to drive in the city, "The report provides an uncommon amount of empirical data, from the percentage of commuters who walk or take public transportation to work (65%) to how many fewer pedestrians were injured along East 180th Street after street improvements (67%)."

"And it sheds light on what many motorists consider something of a dark art: discerning when they can best dodge traffic," notes Mann.

According to Mann, findings contained in the report include:

  • The fastest days for drivers are weekends and holidays.
  • Mondays and Tuesdays are less congested than the rest of the work week.
  • Spring and fall are faster than summer and winter, as are the days just after major holidays.
  • Traffic slows down late in the year, as holidays and special city events clog the streets.
  • Nothing slows things down quite like the United Nations.

 

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, August 19, 2012 in The Wall Street Journal
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