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TransitMatters Releases New ‘Data Dashboard’

A chart showing "total slow time" on the y axis (from 0 to 90 minutes) and months of the year on the x axis (from last August to this July) and three colored lines representing the three MBTA subway lines (red, orange, and blue). The blue line is near 0 along the x-axis until March, when it rises to 20 minutes, then follows a jagged, generally downward trend to around 5 minutes of slow time as of mid-July. The Orange line starts around 5 minutes, spikes to 40 minutes in late September '22 (immediately after a 30-day closure), dips to near 0 over the winter, then rises again to 20 in March, and remains near 15 as of mid-July. The red line starts near the orange line, then gradually trends upwards from 10 minutes in Sept. 2022 to 30 minutes by Feb. 2023. In March, the Red line begins to slope upward steeply, reaching 80 minutes in April and May. In June and July, the red line follows a jagged descent, hitting 50 minutes by mid-July.

A screenshot from the new TransitMatters data dashboard.

TransitMatters, the transit advocacy organization, has launched an updated version of its Data Dashboard, a valuable report card of MBTA's service levels, slow zones, and ridership.

"These metrics are crucial, high-level indicators of system health," wrote Dani Caisse, the TransitMatters Social Media Manager, in a press announcement.

StreetsblogMASS and other news outlets regularly use the TransitMatters dashboards to report on MBTA service levels and travel times.

For instance, the Dashboard's real-time data offers an opportunity to pinpoint various slow zones across the system. It also offers an interesting look at how fare-free service on the 28 bus, which started in September 2021, affected bus ridership in Mattapan and Dorchester.

TransitMatters compiles speed and service level data for the four rapid transit lines and several key bus routes from the MBTA's open-source bus and train location data.

Ridership data comes from MassDOT reports that are based on how many riders tap their Charliecards at stations.

Note that the TransitMatters ridership numbers are lower than the numbers in official MBTA reports. That's because a considerable number of subway riders transfer between lines without passing through two fare gates, and many Green Line stations do not have gates at all.

Read more about the new Dashboard's features on the TransitMatters blog. They're also hosting an "Ask Me Anything" session about the new website this morning on Reddit.

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