Boston Transportation Data

Sometimes, people ask for transportation data that they assume doesn’t exist but, au contraire, it does. There are some other data I have which I can provide on request, but aren’t posted publicly (and some of those are based on calculations I’ve made which might not be entirely perfect). Here are some of the resources I know of. Most are large PDFs, because that’s where data exists, right?

  • Massachusetts traffic volume counts. This has most vehicular traffic counts in the Commonwealth.
  • MBTA Blue Book has a lot of detailed information on MBTA operations. It does not have everything, but a lot: bus and transit ridership, some historic data (older versions of the Blue Book have data going back further; at some point I would like to compile these older data in to one document beyond Commuter Rail, which I have).
  • Commuter Rail counts by train. These data are outdated (2012) but give a good idea of how many people rider specific trains, at least on the day the count was completed.
  • Commuter Rail system survey. These data are even more outdated (2008) but even richer, including access and transfer data. It’s pretty dense.
  • Changes to MBTA service since 1964. A very comprehensive look at every bus line in the system, and every change to service in the past 50 years. 
  • Summary of Commuter Rail operations, including the number of train sets required.
  • MBTA salaries, in a very not-useful PDF document. I have an Excel somewhere. 
  • Keolis bid document, with salary information for various positions and job descriptions.
  • NTD Database, with transit system comparisons. You can also download the whole database as a database or in excel.
  • Monthly data by mode, 2007-2014
  • Archive of Commuter Rail schedules (Dave Weebly).
I will update this post frequently as needed. 

3 thoughts on “Boston Transportation Data

  1. The CTPS Passenger Survey is another good one. It's a few years old and it shares the limitations of any sample survey, but it has some good stuff. Same with the more recent MassDOT travel survey, which includes all modes.

    CTPS reports in general can be a good source of data on specific topics.

    The MBTA GTFS schedule data can be very useful – it has all the stop and station locations, route variations, and the schedule itself.

    MassGIS has a ton of data layers that can be used in GIS programs including open source platforms like QGIS. Last time I checked their bus route layer was a few years old, but it's not like the bus routes change all that often so for many purposes that's fine. There are also layers for commuter rail, freight and other rail tracks, some census data, town boundaries, and other good stuff. The TIGER line files for all roads are online at the census website, too.

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