Behind the scenes with MBTA data.

A detailed look into the analysis behind producing charts to accurately portray complex data.

The MBTA Performance Dashboard displays the MBTA’s ridership metrics through the most recent month for which we have complete data. This post explains how data collected by MBTA faregates and fareboxes is processed and turned into our ridership counts – first reported here, then reported yearly to the National Transit Database.

Ridership is reported as the number of trips taken by passengers on our system for the period specified. We collect ridership data using “interactions” with a farebox or faregate. Every time you tap your CharlieCard or pay with cash, your trip is added to the count. 

Ridership is reported here for an average weekday on bus and subway only, where we have automated fare collection (AFC) equipment.  Bus ridership includes local or express bus, trackless trolley, and Silver Line ridership.

The MBTA Performance Dashboard measures customer satisfaction using the results of our monthly Customer Opinion Panel survey. This post explains how the panel survey works, what data we show on the Dashboard, and other uses for the survey results.