Chart of the day, party neighborhood edition

By Felix Salmon
September 6, 2012

Uber_weekend_model.jpg

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”.

Uberdata_PCAdemandcurve.jpgWhat 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:

City Neighborhood Weekend Index
Chicago Near North Side 89.51
San Francisco North Beach 88.75
Boston South Boston 87.59
Boston Back Bay-Beacon Hill 86.37
NYC Soho 86.03
DC Dupont Circle 85.80
San Francisco South Of Market 85.67
San Francisco Potrero Hill 85.67
Chicago Near West Side 85.62
DC Au-Tenleytown 85.44
DC Downtown 85.08
DC Georgetown 84.90
NYC Greenwich Village 84.81
NYC Tribeca 84.71
DC South West 84.63
NYC Financial District 84.53
DC Foggy Bottom 84.48
Los Angeles Santa Monica 84.38
DC Capitol Hill 84.30
NYC Clinton 84.27
NYC Chelsea 83.59
Boston East Cambridge 83.29
NYC Gramercy 82.85
Los Angeles Sawtelle 82.84
San Francisco Glen Park 82.62
Los Angeles Beverly Hills 82.58
Boston Central 82.25
Boston South End 82.09
San Francisco Chinatown 81.98
Seattle First Hill 81.51
San Francisco Financial District 81.29
Seattle Pioneer Square 81.27
NYC Midtown 81.12
DC Logan Circle 81.06
San Francisco Mission 80.96
Los Angeles Westwood 80.89
NYC Murray Hill 80.88
DC Brentwood 80.83
San Francisco Russian Hill 80.62
San Francisco Inner Sunset 80.48
DC Woodley Park 80.38
NYC Little Italy 80.34
Seattle Downtown 80.32
Chicago Lincoln Park 80.24
Seattle Capitol Hill 80.12
Los Angeles West Los Angeles 80.03
Los Angeles Mid City West 80.02
NYC Williamsburg 80.01
Los Angeles Mid Wilshire 79.73
Boston Fenway-Kenmore 79.62

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.

Comments
10 comments so far

Why be so quick to equate “patterns of Uber usage” with “patterns of life”? Midtown > Williamsburg??

(Also “What you might not expect is that the top six are all on the west coast” = because west coasters use Uber to get to work and New Yorkers *have subways*.)

Posted by MattL | Report as abusive

This analysis misses a small but important detail, at least for the affected San Francisco weekend neighborhoods: these are areas where people go out that are also poorly served by late-night public transit and the existing taxi system. Potrero Hill, for example, is an area that I live but would never have considered hanging out in at night because I once got strande there for two hours with neither a bus nor a cab. Über makes it accessible. The same could be said for north beach and Soma.

Posted by morepete | Report as abusive

At least in SF, it looks like most of the active areas are neighborhoods with poor public transportation. One of the most active nightlife area (the Castro) is not even listed, but it has fantastic transport links (three metro lines).

Posted by ckm5 | Report as abusive

At least in SF, it looks like most of the active areas are neighborhoods with poor public transportation. One of the most active nightlife area (the Castro) is not even listed, but it has fantastic transport links (three metro lines).

Posted by ckm5 | Report as abusive

It appers that half of Frisco is a party ‘hood. I would expect this is because getting a cab anywhere in SF on a Friday or Saturday night can be impossible. You don’t need Uber during other times in the FiDi or SOMA.

I wonder how many other cities are affected by a similar quirk of cab coverage, which would skew the results.

Posted by AngryInCali | Report as abusive

It appers that half of Frisco is a party ‘hood. I would expect this is because getting a cab anywhere in SF on a Friday or Saturday night can be impossible. You don’t need Uber during other times in the FiDi or SOMA.

I wonder how many other cities are affected by a similar quirk of cab coverage, which would skew the results.

Posted by AngryInCali | Report as abusive

It appers that half of Frisco is a party ‘hood. I would expect this is because getting a cab anywhere in SF on a Friday or Saturday night can be impossible. You don’t need Uber during other times in the FiDi or SOMA.

I wonder how many other cities are affected by a similar quirk of cab coverage, which would skew the results.

Posted by AngryInCali | Report as abusive

It appers that half of Frisco is a party ‘hood. I would expect this is because getting a cab anywhere in SF on a Friday or Saturday night can be impossible. You don’t need Uber during other times in the FiDi or SOMA.

I wonder how many other cities are affected by a similar quirk of cab coverage, which would skew the results.

Posted by AngryInCali | Report as abusive

It appers that half of Frisco is a party ‘hood. I would expect this is because getting a cab anywhere in SF on a Friday or Saturday night can be impossible. You don’t need Uber during other times in the FiDi or SOMA.

I wonder how many other cities are affected by a similar quirk of cab coverage, which would skew the results.

Posted by AngryInCali | Report as abusive

I can only speak for San Francisco, but the inclusion of some of those neighborhoods (for instance, Potrero Hill) speaks only to the lack of availability of cabs.

Posted by absinthe | Report as abusive
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