Chart of the day, party neighborhood edition
This chart comes from Uber data geek (that is, a data geek who works for Uber) Bradley Voytek. You might recognize it from a blog post of Voytek’s from back in June, headlined “Building the Perfect Uber Party City”.
What Voytek managed to do, back then, was create two “stereotyped patterns” of Uber car usage, based on something called principal component analysis. The first pattern he called “Weekend Component”, and it’s the chart you see above. The second pattern he calls “Weekday component”, and it looks very different indeed. (You can see the two overlaid on top of each other at right.)
Just by looking at these two curves — the red and the blue — Voytek can account for 93% of the way in which demand for Uber cars fluctuates over time. Some cities and neighborhoods are more Weekday; other cities and neighborhoods are more Weekend. (Most, it turns out, are more Weekend than Weekday, at least when it comes to demand for Ubers.) But just about everywhere comes very close to being a mix of the two, rather than something altogether different.
And there are some neighborhoods which correlate very strongly with the weekend curve in particular: Voytek calls these the “party neighborhoods”. In his post, he picked out the most “weekendish” neighborhoods in each of Uber’s cities: North Beach in San Francisco, Soho in New York, and so on. But I was interested in the league table. So, via Voytek, here’s the top 50:
|Chicago||Near North Side||89.51|
|San Francisco||North Beach||88.75|
|Boston||Back Bay-Beacon Hill||86.37|
|San Francisco||South Of Market||85.67|
|San Francisco||Potrero Hill||85.67|
|Chicago||Near West Side||85.62|
|Los Angeles||Santa Monica||84.38|
|San Francisco||Glen Park||82.62|
|Los Angeles||Beverly Hills||82.58|
|San Francisco||Financial District||81.29|
|San Francisco||Russian Hill||80.62|
|San Francisco||Inner Sunset||80.48|
|Los Angeles||West Los Angeles||80.03|
|Los Angeles||Mid City West||80.02|
|Los Angeles||Mid Wilshire||79.73|
The Weekend Index, here, is the degree to which Uber usage in the neighborhood in question resembles the red line in Voytek’s chart. Obviously, it’s not all nights and weekends, but it’s skewed that way. Sunday nights are very slow, and then each successive night picks up a bit, and goes on a little bit later, until you get big peaks on Friday and Saturday nights. And across the board, nighttime usage is much heavier than daytime usage.
Voytek also sent me a list of the least “weekendish” neighborhoods that Uber covers. They’re pretty dull, as you might expect. What you might not expect is that the top six are all on the west coast. At the top of the list is Outer Richmond, in San Francisco, followed by Roosevelt and Madrona in Seattle, Visitacion Valley in San Francisco, Greenwood in Seattle, and Leschi in Seattle. Nowhere in New York or Boston or DC even makes the top ten.
The big league table, however, of the most weekendish neighborhoods, is fascinating — just because those tend to be particularly (to use a word that Thomas Frank hates) vibrant. These are the neighborhoods that other cities aspire to; they’re the areas that cause people to want to move to a city, and make them willing to pay high rents to live there.
And if you ever wondered what were the best and worst nights to go out, this Uber chart should answer your question very simply: the later you get in the week, the more crowded any given place is likely to become. That’s pretty intuitive, but it’s always good to see intuitions backed up with empirical data — and it’s easy to see why restaurants that close one or two days a week always choose Sundays or Mondays.