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King County, WA: 24 Hours of King County Metro

Posted by Infra on Friday, March 14th, 2014

King County Metro is facing a $75 million budget shortfall this year, caused primarily by the financial downturn in 2008. Despite raised fares and trimmed costs, Metro has no choice but to downsize bus service unless the King County Council provides additional funding.

This animation shows 24 hours of Metro activity, over 200 bus routes on more than 12,000 trips. In this animation every bus is on time. Each bus is represented by a black dot that moves between stops. The bus positions are computed every 6 seconds of real time, though the bus routes are approximated as straight lines between stops (faint grey dots).

I created this visualization of Metro activity to show how integral the bus system is to daily life in Seattle. Simply mapping the bus stops traces every major street and boundary in the city. The Metro system provides over 115,400,000 passenger trips per year.

As Seattle faces gridlock and congestion on our aging roadways, and delayed improvements for SR-99 and SR-520, the Metro provides the most cost effective and immediate way to ensure safe and rapid travel through the city.

Created by: James R. A. Davenport (
Music: Unfoldment, Revealment, Evolution, Exposition, Integration, Arson by Chris Zabriskie (

 on Vimeo

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