Analyzing 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi and Uber Trips

Todd W. Schneider: “The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission has released a staggeringly detailed historical dataset covering over 1.1 billion individual taxi trips in the city from January 2009 through June 2015. Taken as a whole, the detailed trip-level data is more than just a vast list of taxi pickup and drop off coordinates: it’s a story of New York. How bad is the rush hour traffic from Midtown to JFK? Where does the Bridge and Tunnel crowd hang out on Saturday nights? What time do investment bankers get to work? How has Uber changed the landscape for taxis? And could Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson have made it from 72nd and Broadway to Wall Street in less than 30 minutes? The dataset addresses all of these questions and many more.

I mapped the coordinates of every trip to local census tracts and neighborhoods, then set about in an attempt to extract stories and meaning from the data. This post covers a lot, but for those who want to pursue more analysis on their own: everything in this post—the data, software, and code—is freely available. Full instructions to download and analyze the data for yourself are available on GitHub.

Table of Contents

  1. Maps
  2. The Data
  3. Borough Trends, and the Rise of Uber
  4. Airport Traffic
  5. On the Realism of Die Hard 3
  6. How Does Weather Affect Taxi and Uber Ridership?
  7. NYC Late Night Taxi Index
  8. The Bridge and Tunnel Crowd
  9. Northside Williamsburg
  10. Privacy Concerns
  11. Investment Bankers
  12. Parting Thoughts…(More)