CTA Releases New Transportation Data in Advance of First Apps for Metro

August 12, 2011
Access to CTA Mapping Data for Service Stations, Fare Purchasing Centers and Historical Ridership Trends that Will Lead to New Apps to Improve Rider Experience
The Chicago Transit Authority today announced that for the first time ever it is making mapping data available on the City of Chicago’s Data Portal. The release of this data comes as competitors in the transportation-themed portion of Apps for Metro Chicago face an August 15 deadline.
“The Chicago Transit Authority is pleased to offer more data to the public on the City’s data portal that can be used to creatively visualize and analyze information about our services that can be used to develop new apps or transportation projects,” said CTA President Forrest Claypool. “We also are excited about the Apps for Metro Chicago competition because at no cost to CTA it helps foster new and innovative ideas that will lead to new tools for our riders and help the public get the latest and best information about our bus and rail services.”
These new data sets will include an index of important data sets already published by the CTA, in addition to the over 200 sets Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has already released to offer a vital resource for software developers, researchers, urban planners, journalists and concerned citizens via the City’s data portal at http://data.cityofchicago.org.
The Apps for Metro Chicago competition has three sequential rounds of awarded prizes: the Transportation round, the Community round, and the Grand Challenge. The themes are purposefully broad in scope to encourage the submission of Apps in more than one round and provoke continuous improvement. Apps in all rounds must be built using Competition Data.
According to the contest rules, first round submissions “should improve the transportation experience for metropolitan Chicago residents and visitors and should touch the geography of the city of Chicago. Transportation is broadly defined to include all types of public and private modes of transportation: trains, subway, buses, highways, streets, autos, bicycles, pedestrian, taxi, water, etc.

In July, Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped to launch the first-ever Apps for Metro Chicago competition in partnership with State and County officials and the Metro Chicago Information Center. For more information, please visit http://www.appsformetrochicago.org/.

The following data is being made available by CTA today:
Ridership Data: The ridership data currently published is only available in PDF reports. This new ridership information will allow people to dive deep into the numbers and view raw ridership statistics, by bus route or train station, both daily and monthly (in totals and averages), as well as annual statistics for both bus and rail back to the 1980s. For example, if you sort daily ‘L’ station totals by highest ridership, you can see that the top four single-day station entry tallies for any station are all Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple) on the days of the annual Gay & Lesbian Pride Parade from each of the previous four years.
Mapping Data: This data will allow developers to visualize and analyze CTA service locations and availability in relation to ridership patterns, demographics and other information that helps CTA strategically plan service to best serve all of metro Chicago. They can now plot CTA services and facilities on maps which can be cross referenced with other data (such as census data) in software like Google Earth.
Sales Outlets: This is data for farecard sales locations which will make it easier for people to see on a map where they can buy or add value to fare cards around town.
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