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The Chaos of NYC Holiday Taxi Trips Mapped

Traveling during the holiday season is the worst. In case you needed a visual reminder, here’s what taxi trips from New York City’s airports look like during the eternal end-of-year family funfest known as the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Like a terrible lightning storm.

Inspired by a visualization called NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life, designers at ImageWork Technologies decided to look at how holiday traffic surges impact taxi trips from New York City’s major airports. The map isolates taxi trips originating from John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia in 2013, and can even be filtered by trips from individual terminals (like, say, JetBlue’s T5 terminal at JFK).


As might be expected, there are relatively few day-of taxi trips on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not that many people are flying into the city on those days, or if they are, they’re hoofing it into town on public transportation or in a private car.

But a few days after Thanksgiving, trips surge. On December 2, the Monday after Thanksgiving, there were almost 10,000 taxi trips from LaGuardia and JFK (and that’s not even counting the New York-bound trips that surely came out of Newark). (Note: If you are flying into New York next Sunday or Monday, prepare to stand in line for a taxi for the rest of eternity.)

This is madness. Everyone, just agree to stay home and never see your friends or family or eat large meals or visit New York City until at least January, alright?

Check out the interactive visualization here. For the tech-minded, read about the process behind making the map here.

[h/t: Gothamist]SF