The NYC Transportation Tolls

Dataset : Daily Traffic on Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels

Source : NYC Open Data

Timeseries data indicating the daily tolls are the various bridges & tunnels connecting to NYC
Begin : 01/01/2010
End 07/19/2014

I have filtered it to end at 06/30/2014 to remove the partial month of July 2014

  • The data in image below has been summarized at monthly level.  Overall, the Tolls paid in cash have reduced whereas usage of EZ pass has increased across the board for all the bridges, plazas & tunnels.
  • For the tolls paid in cash, there is a clear seasonality. The peaks happen in the month of July after which there is a downward cycle until the month of February when it starts to go higher. (Dec2012 however seems to be an anomaly to that)
  • EZ Pass tolls also have a seasonality. In this case however, the downward trend starts from October onwards and then resumes an uptick after February onwards. Bad weather would be the most possible reason for decline in the winter months.
  • Verrazano Narrows bridge is almost flat throughout the entire time period 
 First Month (Jan 2010) to Last Month (June 2014) comparison

This goes back to the first bullet above. More tolls were collected using EZ Pass vs Cash as compared 2010 when Cash was more prevalent.

Box Whisker - Total tolls collected grouped by Year

Box Whisker plot below is for years 2010 -2013 (Filtered 2014 since we have a partial year). Downward trend in Cash Tolls and mentioned above and upward trend for EZ Pass from 2010 to 2013

Box Whisker - Median Tolls collected grouped by Day of Week

Lets now have a look at how the Day of Week has an impact on the tolls collected. I will be looking at the Median value of tolls collected. Interestingly there is a a negative correlation between Cash and EZ Pass when looking across Day of Week as the dimension.

Saturdays & Sundays have a higher median for Cash as the mode of payment versus the working days of the week. Possibly due to a lot more visitors & tourists who do not have EZ Pass transponders.

For EZ Pass, Tue-Wed-Thu-Fri are very close and tend to collect higher tolls on a daily basis versus the weekends. These would be the regular weekly commuters to and fro from the city.

Now lets look at how the median tolls collected vary between day of week and the Bridge/Tunnel name

Throggs Neck bridge is an overall winner across the entire week and collects approx 95.2 K  Dollars on Fridays 93.7 K Dollars on Thursdays, and 90.5 K Dollars on Wednesdays

Brooklyn Whitestone bridge is the second overall across the entire week.

Daily Time Series

Looking at the granular time series data for all the bridges/tunnels, three instances of very steep drops in tolls collected across the board. There is also another dip around Feb 8-9, 2013.

Guesses ???


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