Publication Date

Fall 12-9-2023

Document Type

Student Project

First Advisor

Koop, David

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)


Department of Computer Science


The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is a vital public transportation system for the city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, and all of its ‘L’ train data was recorded from March 2022 to February 2023 for this research. The main goal of this project was to create interactive/animated charts, graphs, and/or transit maps to present this raw data in a meaningful form that could help future researchers learn more about the CTA system, its patterns, and/or its unexplained inconsistencies/irregularities. A simple animation of the ‘L’ trains running within a specified time frame was created with the Python libraries Pandas, Shapely, and Pydeck utilizing the train timestamps and coordinate locations from the raw data. Many sensors that track train movement along the rails provided incorrect coordinate locations, so new coordinate locations were calculated using interpolation. For improved visual effects, each animated train was color-coded with its corresponding line color (blue for Blue line, etc.) and a background layer of all train line paths with their corresponding line colors was added. Finally, a user-interface was added to provide datetime selection, as well as line, run number, and speed filtering. This interactive train animation provides future CTA researchers with a visual of the CTA ‘L’ trains and will allow for specific analysis by showing all/single train runs at any given date and time.


Link to an example run of animation: