Ever wonder how active the TTC is at 3 o'clock in the morning? Or just how busy it is at rush hour? Thanks to software developer, Andrew Walker of Sumus Technology, we can visualize this information. Walker has created time-lapse videos of public transit in various North American cities, including Toronto. He uses data provided by transit authorities and fed into a system standardized by Google to map a full day of bus, train and subway operation. With his program, he brings static transportation maps to life, showcasing cities on the move.

South Central Section of TTC, image courtesy of the Toronto Transit CommissionSouth Central Section of TTC, image courtesy of the Toronto Transit Commission

Blue Night Network Map,  image courtesy of the Toronto Transit CommissionBlue Night Network Map, image courtesy of the Toronto Transit Commission

The video of the Toronto transit system published on YouTube October 10, 2012 shows activity over the 24-hour period between 4am and 4am on August 1, 2012. Different colours on the map correspond to a bus, train or subway route. It is interesting to see that Toronto is, in fact, a city that doesn't sleep, even if it slows the pace much more than in New York. 

Walker's videos have generated much interest across the States and Canada and have brought welcome attention to the importance of public transportation in our cities. The animations show how the city comes to life with the movement of large numbers of people. If only actual public transportation service were as fast as the bright coloured lights scurrying across the screen!