WMATA planners have created a new ridership data visualization, a video that shows the volume at each station across the day:
This has a lot in common with Kenton Ngo’s animated GIF that works basically the same way, but with less fine-grained time resolution:
WMATA planners created this before they saw Ngo’s, planner Michael Eichler noted in an email. In each one, the circles are larger at times when more people are entering or exiting the station. The color shifts based on whether the traffic is people entering (pink), exiting (blue), or a mix (shades of purple in between).
The WMATA animation uses April 10, 2013, which was Metro’s 4th highest ridership day ever. The PlanItMetro post says:
A combination of cherry blossom peak bloom and two sporting events ratcheted ridership up to 871,000 for the day, compared to an average weekday ridership of around 750,000. Note the high level of activity at the Smithsonian station all day long, and big dots that grow and shrink as the sports games begin and then end near Gallery Place and Navy Yard-Ballpark stations.
You can access the data yourself to create your own visualizations here. If you make some, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post some of the best.