If you're ever wondered how "ratty" your next transit stop in New York City is going to be, you're in luck, because that data is now at your fingertips. The Transit app is now tracking rat activity in real time. Popular Science explains:
In its efforts to understand its rat residents, the city of New York has taken measures to collect rat stats. One project to come out of this data-gathering effort is the rat map, which indicates hot spot gatherings for rodent group hangs. Another app called Transit is taking a more citizen science approach to see where the most popular rat hubs are. Transit uses open transit data provided by city agencies to help riders visualize train and bus times in their area (it works in cities like New York, Boston, and Los Angeles). It aims to help commuters find the best and fastest way to get to their destination. Beyond ingesting schedules, the app also relies on crowdsourced information about alerts or other unexpected events.
Recently, the app launched a new feature called the NYC Subway Rat Detector, which tells users how busy a certain subway station is in terms of recorded rat activity. By asking users to report rat levels at a given subway station through an in-app questionnaire called "Rate-my-ride," Transit can garner real-time insights at the station from its 1.2 million New York users, as the developers explained in a newsletter they sent out earlier this month. This data doesn't just get shared with fellow riders and app users, but with the app's transit agency partners, too.
I wonder if anyone has recorded a new Pizza Rat sighting? Good luck out there, folks!
If you want to learn more about the Transit app, watch this funny "ratistical analysis" video by TikTok user Smokulani.