Parking Tickets in Toronto, I

Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fifth in North America. According to a census carried out during 2011, Toronto has 1.3 cars per household. Meanwhile  this rate is  around 0.6 and 1.1 for New York and Chicago, respectively. Cities with equivalent characteristics but the fact that Toronto is the most car-oriented, won’t surprised  anyone that has ever been in Toronto and it has used its public transport.


So, according to this census, in Toronto there are approximately 1.1 million cars and in average, in year 2.8 million parking fines are administered in the city Toronto. In other words,  nearly 3 tickets per year for parking after hours or in places prohibited by vehicle. A fairly high average, but if you have a car, or you know someone who has car in Toronto. That average will not surprise either. In way, the system is broke, for instance recently there was a general amnesty, cancelling nearly one million  violations. This mainly  because the amount of claims was impossible to handle. Something that also says a lot .


Fortunately, the city hall  of Toronto provide the raw data of all of those parking violations. A dataset I plan to analysis in order to learn more about Toronto. First, I have plotted the number of total tickets per day since 2011. As you can see above, it stands out  how spiky is the plot. Furthermore, these spikes are almost all of them, falls. If we sort the data by number of fines, we can appreciate how the minimums correspond with holidays, especially, Christmas, New Year and Thanksgiving Day.

date_of_infraction      N
2013-12-25             235
2011-12-25             322
2014-12-25             425
2014-01-01             536
2013-01-01             577
2013-12-26             587
2012-12-25             673
2013-12-23             943
2012-01-01            1059
2013-12-24            1126
2013-12-22            1225
2014-12-26            1307
2012-12-26            1488
2011-01-01            1527
2013-02-08            1695
2013-10-14            1966
2011-12-26            1996
2014-10-13            2028
2012-10-08            2076
2011-10-10            2172

Actually, in the top 20 there is only one day that breaks this rule , 02.08.2013. That day, it felt a major snowstorm in Toronto. Also, we can notice how, the smaller minimums , are repetitive. Those minims corresponds to weekends. Due to parking prohibitions are generally not influenced by holidays, this behaivoir can be explained by a combination of two factors: i) Many people does not move or leave the city during the weekend and holidays, ii) There are fewer parking agents regulating parking. I will think about it, because I would like to figure out which one of these factors have a higher weight.

In other hand, in summer many people move by bike , so it caught my attention , how small is the difference between summer and winter. Something you can appreciate in As  in the plot of 2010, the year were this difference is more pronounced.


Let’s see, what ele we can learn from the Parking Tickets of Toronto. This dataset is provided by the City of Toronto itself, under license  Open Government.  



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