Take a look at Spokane Transit’s new system map for the September 2011 service change. It prominently shows frequent service routes as thick red lines. Frequent service being defined as “every 15 minutes during Weekday peak and day times”, roughly from 5 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, and “Night and Weekend service every 30-60 minutes or better.” The branches of frequent lines are shown as thinner lines. Portions where “basic” lines combine to provide frequent service are also indicated. Even at the shrunken size of the image above you can tell where all the frequent service is.
Compare the new map to the previous map. The map is now schematic, which sacrifices geographic accuracy for clarity. Going schematic also allowed the elimination of insets for the outlying areas, making it easier to follow the lines. Despite individual routes no longer getting their own color, I find the new map much easier to read due to the simplified lines and elimination of clutter.
Spokane Transit is the second transit system in the state to highlight frequent service on its system map after Bellingham’s WTA.
UPDATE, 3:10 pm: Response to my inquiry from Chris Tohm, Communications Specialist, at Spokane Transit Authority. Items in brackets are my notes:
Thanks for the kind words about the new STA system map.
The layout was a collaborative effort with CHK after we met with Rick Wood [President & CEO of CHK America, a firm specializing in transit information solutions] to discuss the new changes to the system. We had committed to doing a more detailed series of maps for our individual route schedules and wanted to simplify the system map so it would give a better vision of the entire system.
Karl Otterstrom, STA’s Director of Planning [former planner at Metro who worked on the Rapid Trolley concept], had some ideas about showing frequency and combined frequency and CHK did a really good job turning those theoretical concepts into reality while creating a really user-friendly design.
… [omitted link to Human Transit article]
It’s been long tedious process working through the details but I’m glad to say it is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve worked on recently.