>London’s “Spider Maps”


Transport for London has these great bus maps that show routes traveling in all directions from major transit nodes. 

These maps are more abstract than the previously mentioned station-oriented bus maps.  They combine several useful features:

1.  A local area walking map, showing the location of the different bus stops keyed to a table of routes

2.  A schematic route map for the bus, showing routing to other transit nodes in the area

3.  A table of routes leaving from that node, either daytime or nighttime routes

These maps, Metro’s station area maps, Los Angeles Metro’s “12 Minute” maps (discussed here), and improved bus schedules are all created by CHK America, Inc

Some issues with this mapping method:

You have to name the “dots”.  Could DC residents agree on what to call the many new places we’d have to represent as a dot on a map?  Or would the dot names become conglomerations, like some Metro station names?

Our bus service seems more complicated.  Some routes only travel certain times or have “turn-back” service.  For example, there are some Metrobus routes that operate only two or three trips a day.  Is it better or worse to put them on the map?

Our buses are not as frequent as London’s.  This kind of map is most useful if the rider only has to worry about routing and not schedule.  Once a rider has to worry about bus schedule and timetables, it’s likely this won’t be enough information.


About perkinsms

I'm an engineer and father interested in transit, parking and economics.
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