Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This Story Map gives voice to Metro ‘super commuters’

The feature from Esri combines personal stories and data-filled graphics.

Hey, Metro.

(Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

If you tried to use the blue, orange or silver line of the metro this past weekend you may have experienced frustrating delays due to maintenance. This will make it easy to connect to Esri’s recently-published interactive feature “End of the Line,” which tackles some of the transportation issues that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) currently faces.

Esri, the California-based developer of a mapping and spacial analytics software, created a Story Map that follows the daily travels of two “super commuters” (travelers that routinely spend 90 minutes or more commuting). It interweaves maps made with data that goes beyond transportation and personal stories.

Read the full Story Map

The feature looks at what it’s like to depend on an “overburdened” transit system. As the cost of living has risen dramatically, many people have started living outside of D.C. and commuting into the city for work. At the same time, an internal funding debate is playing out over what is needed for Metro’s future. The Story Map seeks to bring the voices of commuters into that debate.

There are also plenty of interesting nuances about the system. In addition to looking at the cost and time of commuting, the article also examines how Metro-run buses intersect with other county-wide bus systems, and the effects of consolidating Metrobus routes.

It also points out the paradox of how the system must simultaneously generate revenue and provide a service that many people depend on.

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