Category Archives: infographic

See you there: “The Subway Map: The Last 50 Years, The Next 50 Years”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 will mark the 111th anniversary of the opening of the New York City subway on October 27, 1904. After 111 years, the Rudin Center will join with historians and designers at The Cooper Union for a public symposium discussing the evolution of New York City’s subway map. Admission is free, please RSVP here.


  • R. Raleigh D’Adamo, whose innovative map for the Transit Authority (TA) led the TA to jettison their long-standing three-colour mapping scheme, and to adopt a scheme in which each route is colour-coded. The same concept is still used today.
  • John Tauranac, who led the 1970s committee that created the quasi-geographic subway map that has lasted (with some changes, additions and deletions) for 35 years.
  • Peter B Lloyd, historian of the subway map and author of Vignelli: Transit Maps (RIT Press, 2012).
  • Eddie Jabbour, principal of Kick Design, a branding agency. With his son Dan, he designed the KickMap transit app, which has had more than a million downloads and has been featured in several books on information design and mapping.
  • Joe Brennan, renowned for his scholarship on the subway, who has for twenty years been maintaining a subway map that has garnered much praise.
  • Sarah M. Kaufman, Assistant Director for the Technology Programming at the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation. She formerly worked at the MTA, where she led the Open Data program and created a conference and online exchange between the MTA and software developers. That program provides the foundation for the many subway map apps for mobile devices that are now on the market.
  • For more information and an event program, please click here.

    Image (c) Reka Komoli & Raleigh D’Adamo.

    NYC Gay Pride Parade Routes: A Changing Course

    As posted by the NY Observer, we’ve created a map that details the start and rally points as the parade has evolved in its forty-five years:

    New York’s annual Heritage of Pride Parade, scheduled for Sunday, June 28, has been a central part of New York’s cultural life for the past 45 years. The parade was launched as a 2,000-person march in 1970 to mark the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, with chants of “Say it loud, gay is proud.” Initially, it flowed north from Christopher Street to Central Park, but has shifted routes over the decades as it grown and responded to new trends and regulations. In 1973, the parade was called a “better-organized event” in The New York Times; it proceeded from Central Park with 20,000 marchers down Seventh Avenue to Washington Square Park ending in a large rally (video).

    For the next forty years, the parade has grown and shifted routes through politics and tragedy into the event it is today. Today, with the Supreme Court declaring gay marriage is a right, the one-million strong parade is a symbol of freedom, civil rights and joy for LGBT New Yorkers – and visitors from every part of the world.


    In conducting research for this map, a major finding was the change in language used by the media to cover the parade over four decades. The New York Times covered the 1971 parade with the headline, “Militant Homosexuals Stage March in Central Park,” the 1982 event, “Pride and Joy at Homosexual Parade,” and 1990: “Throngs Cheer at Gay and Lesbian March.” Over time, the word “homosexual” is replaced by “gay,” and “acceptance” evolves into “rights,” showing clearly the trend towards, well, acceptance. And by 1989, it’s a “Traffic Alert.”

    A further exploration into the language changes over time through Ngram and Google Trends and  shows the progress – at least in language – the US has made in understanding LGBT rights.

    Ngram: 1970-2008

    Google Trends: 2004-2015

    The details of the map were pulled primarily from The New York Times archive. Below are major points of coverage and a recommended reading list from The New York Times:

    Militant Homosexuals to Stage March to Central Park Today
    “Thousands of young men and women homosexuals from all over the Northeast marched from Greenwich Village to the Sheep Meadow in Central Park yesterday, proclaiming “the new strength and pride of the gay people.”

    March is Staged by Homosexuals; Gay Groups Press Campaign for Acceptance Here
    “Thousands of homosexuals are expected to march from Christopher Street to the Sheep Meadow this afternoon to mark the second anniversary of a movement known to them as the “‘Gay Revolution’”

    Thousands Join in March For Homosexuals’ Rights
    “Thousands of homosexuals yesterday paraded along the Avenue of the Americas, from Greenwich Village to Central Park, in the seventh annual march for homosexuals’ rights.”

    Homosexuals March for Equal Rights
    “Waving placards and chanting rallying cries, a vast sea of homosexual men and women marched up Fifth Avenue under bobbing banners of liberation yesterday in what many called the largest homosexual rights demonstration ever held in New York City.”

    Thousands March Up Fifth Ave. In Support of Homosexual Cause: An Annual Event in City Parade Stops at Cathedral
    “Tens of thousands of homosexual men and women paraded up Fifth Avenue to Central Park’s Sheep Meadow yesterday to demand enactment of a New York City law against discrimination ‘on the basis of sexual orientation’…filled fifteen blocks on their way up from Christopher Street to Washington Square and Fifth Avenue”

    Pride and Joy at Homosexual Parade
    “As the marchers – estimated at 100,000 by organizers and 40,000 by the police – entered Central Park at 79th Street for a late afternoon rally on the Great Lawn, a woman shouted from a nearby curb, ‘I’m for families, not gays.’
    “But most onlookers along the parade route – from Sheridan Square, across Greenwich Village on West Fourth Street and up Fifth Avenue and into the park – savored the parade as a parade. They gawked, clapped and peddled everything from orange juice to toy antennas in a scene reminiscent of Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

    Homosexuals’ Parade Dedicated to AIDS Victims
    “With band music and banners, homosexuals and their supporters marched yesterday from Central Park West to Washington Square in Greenwich Village. The Lesbian and Gay Pride March, the 14th annual such parade, was dedicated to the victims of AIDS.”

    Marchers Laud City’s New Law Prohibiting Bias
    “Thousands of homosexuals and their supporters marched yesterday afternoon in the 17th annual Gay/Lesbian Pride Day parade, following a lavender stripe from Central Park to Greenwich Village….marchers passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, many stopped to cheer, jeer, sing or jab their fists into the air. ”

    Thousands Join in Parade To Celebrate Gay Pride
    “The cheering, dancing and laughing marchers mocked themselves and stereotypes of their life styles, welcomed Mayor David N. Dinkins and waved and cheered to the tens of thousands who lined the parade route from midtown to Greenwich Village. A Call for Understanding”

    Gay Marchers Celebrate History in 2 Parades
    “They marched in not one but two parades — an officially sanctioned one on the East Side of Manhattan demanding that the United Nations protect the rights of homosexuals worldwide, and a smaller, unofficial one up Fifth Avenue from Greenwich Village, organized by several dissenting groups that broke ranks with the others to make the point that the most urgent problem facing gay people is AIDS.”

    30 Years After Stonewall, Diversity Is Shown in Gay Pride Parade
    “Firefighter Tom Ryan walked soberly down Fifth Avenue yesterday, the Fire Commissioner at his side, the Mayor a few feet ahead, and a gyrating, feather-bedecked moving carnival of gay Brazilians behind”

    Gay Pride, and More, Clearly on Display
    “Fifth Avenue was awash yesterday in balloons, feathers, leather, wigs, thongs, stilettos and lots of bare skin, as tens of thousands marched in and watched the 32nd annual gay pride parade in Manhattan. The parade began as a tiny and timid affair in 1970 to commemorate the anniversary of an uprising at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, and has evolved into an enormous, electric dance party in the streets, thundering yesterday from 52nd Street to the Village.”

    Gays and Lesbians Parade With a New Sense of Pride and Possibility
    “The parade lasted more than five hours and flowed from Fifth Avenue at 52nd Street down to the West Village. It drew as many as 250,000 observers and participants, organizers said.”

    Parades, Festivals Celebrate Gay Pride
    “New York’s Fifth Avenue became one giant rainbow on Sunday as thousands of participants waved multicolored flags while making their way down the street. Politicians including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were among those walking along a lavender line painted on the avenue from midtown Manhattan to the West Village.”

    Photo at top: Jennifer / Flickr

    Map: Subway Stations with Wireless Service

    Where can you use your cell phone underground? Here’s a map to show you which 37 subway stations are wired for access. According to MTA and Transit Wireless, the consortium responsible for building out the access, the 241 remaining underground stations will come online  within four years.

    // Map by NYU Rudin Center intern Andrew Poeppel – data from Transit Wireless

    Top image: flickr // momentcaptured1

    Yelp Reviews of the Busiest Subway Stations

    Did you know people post Yelp reviews of subway stations? Here’s a map of NYC’s busiest subway stations, created by our summer intern Andrew Poeppel. Click on the stations (numbered by busiest) to see their Yelp rating, reviews and more.

    You can find Andrew on Twitter: @AndrewPoeppel.

    Recap and Photos: Citi Bike Data Showcase

    Last night’s Citi Bike Data Showcase brought a full, fun crowd to talk about visualizations, apps and nuances of Citi Bike use and analysis. Hosted by the Rudin Center and emceed by Noel Hidalgo of BetaNYC, the event featured several brief talks:

    • Dani Simons, Director of Marketing at NYC Bike Share, showed how the organization uses its data to manage bike fleets and where the system expansion may occur going forward.
    • Jeff Ferzoco (linepointpath) and Alex Chohlas-Wood (NYU CUSP) discussed their upcoming project of calculating bike salmoning.
    • Aaron Fraint (Hunter College) showed his favorite coding tools for analysis and visualization, including some processes that can take three days to complete.  (link)
    • Ben Wellington (I Quant NY/Pratt) demonstrated the process of map creation using Citi Bike and NYC data with free coding tools.
    • Sarah Kaufman (NYU Rudin Center) discussed gender, Citi Bike, and the modern freedoms reflective of women’s discovery of pantaloons.
    • Amy Wu and Luke Stern (SVA) redesigning Citi Bike’s checkout and kiosk process

    Frank Hebbert (Open Plans) closed out the event by showcasing his new #bikestoday tool, which automatically counts bikes riding past.

    See event photos below (by Jeff Ferzoco).

    Citi Bike and Gender

    By Sarah Kaufman; Map by Jeff Ferzoco

    As the city enters a long-awaited spring and the bikes emerge, so too might a pattern: according to Citi Bike’s public data, men are riding more – far more – than women, averaging three times more rides. Of subscriber-based rides in July through December 2013, men took 76.3% of all trips, and women 23.7%. What is the cause of this disparity, and how can it be resolved?

    Women typically attribute reduced cycling numbers to safety among car traffic, and considering Citi Bike’s distribution across some of the most congested parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, lower female participation makes sense. Further analysis of the gender divide by bike share station shows that bike stations in Manhattan are predominantly used by men, while Brooklyn stations are more proportionately popular among women. Of the top ten stations for each gender, women preferred the Brooklyn residential neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, while men were overwhelmingly represented in bustling midtown Manhattan. Women also chose stations in areas with fewer lanes of traffic, more limited truck traffic, fewer collision-based cyclist injuries in recent memory, and in some cases, fast access to bridge entrances; men most often chose stations with more traffic, some truck traffic, some collision-based cyclist injuries, and, typically, connectivity to major transit hubs.

    See the map below to explore these stations:

    MapBaseforSketchTNv2 (2)

    The station with the highest proportion of women, only 37.9%, is Station 266, the East Village’s 8th Street and Avenue D location. Although there is no dedicated bike lane on that block, the area has limited transit access, quieter traffic, and easy access to the tranquil East River waterfront and bridges.

    The numbers of women bikers are universally important, since they teach us which locations are safe (and perceived to be). Station 266’s relative diversity can teach us a few things about biking in New York City: When it is (and feels) safe, people will bike as a last-mile transit solution, a connector to parks and recreation, and as a lifeline for improved job access from a distant location (ask an Avenue D resident if they would consider working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a treacherous commute by transit; biking would essentially halve the travel time).

    Women have a long favorable history with biking. In the 1890s, women discovered the bicycle as the best means of personal mobility, providing exercise, freedom from reliance on men for transportation, and reform of requirements for wearing unwieldy undergarments. According to suffragist Susan B. Anthony, biking had “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” (source)

    In 2014, a safe, active travel mode that complements transit is important for all New Yorkers, and as the system expands farther into the city’s residential reaches of Brooklyn, Queens and uptown Manhattan, we will likely see a more balanced use of the system. By comparison, Washington, DC’s Capital Bikeshare system extends into multiple lower-traffic residential areas like Clinton Hill, and the subscriber rate is a more balanced 55% male, 45% female. (source)

    Removing the barriers to cycling will universalize biking’s appeal, and bike share will become a truly mature transportation mode integrated into NYC’s fabric of mobility.

    Data note: Station proportions were calculated by number of trip starts by subscribers, the only users for whom gender data is available.

    P.S. Enjoy data uses like the one here? Be sure to join us for the Citi Bike data showcase night on May 28.

    48 Hours of Citi Bike

    See the video below, designed by Sarah Kaufman of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation with Jeff Ferzoco of linepointpath and Juan Francisco Saldarriaga, showing 48 hours in the life of Citi Bike:

    Note that subscribers concentrate around economic and residential hubs like East Midtown, Wall Street and the East Village and Fort Greene, while customers use Citi Bike near tourist hotspots: the bases of the Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Central Park South, indicating that many single-use subscribers are, in fact, tourists. Subscribers and customers favor different locations, though Citi Bike appeals to both New Yorkers and visitors.

    Users are encouraged to click around the map to explore Citi Bike travels during September, and to post findings to the NYU Rudin Center on Twitter @NYURudin.

    Citi Bike and “Reactionary Biking”

    We at the NYU Rudin Center got an early look at Citi Bike’s new trip data and found exciting snippets, such as where it’s clear that New Yorkers hopped off delayed subways and onto bikes, transferred from ferries, or attended events at Barclays Center. (Check out our video of 48 hours in the life of Citi Bike, now live on the NYTimes website.)

     In fact, for the month of September, there is evidence of “reactionary biking,” in which subway riders encountering delays likely switched modes to bike share for that trip. The chart below demonstrates a moderate correlation between subway delays and Citi Bike usage throughout September: when delays increase, so does bike share ridership.


    Reactionary biking is indicated during particular instances: for example, on September 17th at 7:45 a.m., the MTA sent an alert that the 2/3 train was delayed at Wall Street, in the heart of Citi Bike’s stations. In the half hour surrounding this alert, seventeen rides were recorded along the 2/3 route within four stops of the Wall Street Station; they were not repeated at the same time the following day. The increased rides on days heavy with delays, coupled with September’s pleasant weather (with temperatures ranging from 59 to 76 on average), lead to the conclusion that New Yorkers are avoiding or escaping transit delays by taking to bike share. As Citi Bike expands across New York City, it will provide a more comprehensive alternative to delayed transit.

    Citi Bike has become an important mode in New York’s diverse transportation landscape, both as a method of active transport and an essential connection to the transit network; we are eager to analyze this data to understand its role in New York-area mobility.


    Data notes:

    • The chart accounts for unplanned service changes only; it does not include planned weeknight and weekend service diversions (and their occasional cancelations) relating to construction work.
    •  Dates recorded are for bike trip starts only; trips ending on subsequent days are recorded on the days on which the trips started.

    Why is Citi Bike So Successful?

    By Lily Gordon-Koven

    In its first six months of operation, Citi Bike riders took more than 6 million trips from bases in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and by January, nearly 100,000 enthusiasts became annual members. Nearly one year in, Grand Central has become the busiest area in both mornings and evenings. The system is used by both New Yorkers and tourists alike. At the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, we’ve been observing the system closely and have conducted the first academic investigation into Citi Bike’s use.

    One marker of success: Even as the city weathers one of the worst winters in recent memory, Citi Bikers continue to pedal through slush and ice every day. On January 7, the coldest day on record in over a hundred years in New York City, hearty New Yorkers took nearly 7,000 trips on Citi Bike. The system’s continued use through the winter months, despite snowed-in stations and treacherous riding conditions, is a strong indicator that Citi Bike is not just a passing trend or summer pastime.

    Our analysis shows that the key ingredients of Citi Bike’s success are urban density and proximity to mass transit, two of New York’s most valuable urban assets. Other bike share systems in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC (as well as other American cities) move plenty of riders, but none do so with the same scale and intensity of Citi Bike.

    This is, of course, due in part of New York’s population size and tightly knit street grid, but it’s also about something else – connections. Citi Bike thrives in New York because of the many ways it connects to other modes New Yorkers use everyday – subways, buses, taxis, commuter rail, ferries, and their feet.

    We have mapped the busiest stations and their connections to the City’s economic and transit hubs, including the Financial District, Midtown, and Downtown Brooklyn. While Citi Bike at this time covers a limited portion of the city, its connections to transit make it accessible for New Yorkers from all five boroughs and commuters from the entire region.

    The busiest stations are at Grand Central and Astor Place in the mornings and Grand Central and 17th and Broadway in the evenings.

    Click on the map below to explore the busiest origin and destination stations during morning and evening rush hours.


    Our forthcoming report maps out exactly how Citi Bike has successfully become a part of the transportation system in New York. The system isn’t just for tourists or leisure riders; it has become an integral part of the transportation network.