This article in Forbes Magazine describes the creation of a data visualization called Tube Heartbeat. Produced by Oliver O’Brien it shows the movement of London England’s transit passengers as they move around the 268 tube stations on 11 lines. The images are updated in fifteen minute intervals, showing how up to 4.8 million passengers a day use the system.

We already use analogies like arterials for the road network-the pulsing of the volume of passengers using the London tube  network  looks very organic, confirming that public transportation is indeed the heart of a city.


  1. Pulse of the city. Interesting. Heart of the city, though ? People pulse in cars, on bikes and on buses too, of course.
    London of course has a 120+ year advantage over Vancouver when it comes to subways as they installed their fist over 150 years ago in 1863.
    When will MetroVan mayors get that RAPID transit is relevant and start collecting more in taxes from parking, institute salary&benefit cuts from their bloated staffs and work with the province and federal government to install it ? Cities have to contribute their fair share, too, and not rely only on handouts from senior governments. Property taxes are too low, parking is basically free in most residential streets on land you do not own and far too much is paid on staff in low risk jobs. More on this here:
    Here are a few holes in the 2040 plan:
    No subway further west than Arbutus, with UBC building at record pace and Jericho land coming soon ?
    No subway along N-Shore ?
    No subway to North Shore ?
    No second subway south on Granville or Burrard to connect to E-W Broadway line ?
    No CanadaLine extension south in Richmond ?
    More on these holes here

  2. Cute. I wonder how all those people living in that massive south easy area in the map get around.
    Not by subway because the tube was never built anywhere south east of London’s river Thames. Only around 1.3 million they say. Maybe they all walk.

    1. The graphic only shows Underground lines. London has many more transit options including buses, trams, DLR automated light rail, Overground, and a vast network of surface rail featuring privately operated suburban commuter trains and intercity services.
      Approximate passenger counts for the public portion of the system
      (in millions of passengers per year)
      Buses 2000
      Underground 1340
      Overground 184
      DLR 91
      Croyden tram 27
      Express coach 14

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *