Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Where New Yorkers Still Use the Subway

The Gothamist has used New York subway data to map out which subway stations have seen the most drastic fall in traffic during the coronavirus epidemic and which stations are still experiencing high levels of traffic.

The interactive map in Which Parts Of NYC Are Relying On The Subway Most During Coronavirus uses scaled markers to show the total number of turnstile entries at each New York subway station. The color of the markers on the map visualize the number of turnstile entries as a percentage of the historical average. In other words the bluest stations have seen the smallest drop in traffic.

The map also allows you to view choropleth maps showing the levels of poverty and the numbers of residents working in healthcare in each New York borough. If you turn on the poverty rate layer you can see that there does seem to be a correlation between the stations with the least reductions in traffic and the local poverty rate. The map also seems to show that the areas with the most healthcare workers are also the areas where subway use remains high.

Last month Ed Pilkington and Ankita Rao in A Tale of Two New Yorks made a convincing case that many wealthier white New Yorkers have been able to sit out the pandemic relatively safely, working from home and relying on home deliveries. While poorer, often non-white, residents have been forced to continue working in 'essential' jobs and traveling on public transport.

Using the New York City coronavirus cases by zip code interactive map you can see the number of positive results for Covid-19 in each New York borough. The map also reveals the percentage of the local population who are non-white and the percentage living below the poverty line. This map appears to also reveal that there is a pretty strong correlation between the rate of positive tests in a neighborhood and the number of people living in poverty and the number of non-white residents.

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