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Telling the Story of Inequality on Public Transit, With Maps

A mash-up of poverty rates and transit quality from San Francisco.
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When he lived in Chicago, during college and for several years afterward, Raymon Sutedjo-The was often conscious of stories about the inequality of the city's transit system. People who lived on the North Side seemed to have an easier time getting around, while residents in remote lower-income neighborhoods on the South and West sides found themselves far from jobs with long and plodding bus commutes to get to them.

"Those questions of equity were always in the back of my mind," says Sutedjo-The, now a master's student in the University of California at Berkeley's School of Information. He had these questions in mind when presented with a set of transit data from the cities of San Francisco, Zurich and Geneva this spring as part of the Urban Data Challenge. Designers and developers were given one week's worth of data from the three cities, covering bus schedules, actual arrival times and passenger capacity for each line and stop, with the challenge to visualize it all in some new and meaningful way.