TransLink's new frequent transit network map

For those of you who missed Jarrett Walker’s hat tip, TransLink has finally unveiled an excellent system-wide frequency map (PDF), a vast improvement over its predecessor (PDF), which bears several similarities to Metro’s current system map.  The map uses both color and line weight (thickness) to denote frequency while basic and limited services are deemphasized.  Frequent services include the three SkyTrain lines, the two B-Lines (BRT-style), and other routes that run at least 15 minutes during the day.

Unlike Spokane’s new frequency schematic  and Oran’s own design for Seattle, TransLink managed to use a geographically-accurate map base, aided in part by Vancouver’s very clear and regular grid.  The best part of the map is the ability to see the viability of anywhere-to-anywhere travel within Vancouver supported by frequent connections.  It’s also much easier on the eye than the old system map.

While Metro has yet to follow suit, they are beginning to the catch on to the frequency map palooza, with an excellent Eastside map that was released along with last October’s restructure.  However, as the agency aims to continue restructuring its system in accordance to the new service guidelines (PDF), what better way to educate the public than to do the same for the entire system?

10 Replies to “TransLink’s New Frequency Map”

  1. Every time I go to Vancouver I feel ashamed about how bad our transit is down here. They even make San Francisco and Portland look terrible.

    The one advantage we had over them is better signage and information, but they are soon catching up on that one.

    Keep in mind that Vancouver’s threshold for frequent service is far superior to ours.

    1. I’d still say it’s easier to get around SF than Vancouver, as SF has virtually no single family homes neighborhoods and is consistantly very dense, urban, and connected within city limits (while Vancouver is a bit more node-based a la Seattle outside of downtown). Also, SF does offer several options with BART heavy rail, MUNI light rail, streetcar, and a good bus system.

      Overall, though, there’s no doubt Vancouver has an easier to use, more efficient and smarter transit system than SF or anywhere else on the West Coast. (They need the SkyTrain line to UBC though!)

      It is sad just how much Seattle pales in comparison to Vancouver, SF, and Portland (which I think is overrated but still significantly better than Seattle). At the current pace it’s going to be a while before we catch up too.

      1. No single family homes? What is Haight-Asbury then!!

        And Portland has much, much lower population density than Seattle.

        If you think Portland is better than Seattle — then I would agree with you!

        But the reasons (and I’ve traveled and stayed in Portland many, many times in the last 25 years) are not the ones you want to hear.

        First of all, Portland has many, many low-trafficked streets…it’s bicycling is the Utilitarian low speed type through streets and alleyways and traveling along 30 mph neighborhood roads.

        There is a lot of SFH which is still cheap relative to Seattle, and that creates the low density that is beneficial to bicycling and to human health in general.

        Portland also has robust network of highways. It is very easy to find an entrance and get on and off near your destination. The benefits of this is that it pulls cars off the neighborhood streets and away from bikes and pedestrians. It has three major ring highways around the city center and you can find branches well out into the adjacent suburbs.

      2. Portland has much lower *population* than Seattle.

        2,262,605 Portland vs. 3,500,026 Seattle.

        Lower Population implies Lower Population Density.

      3. John, the relationship between metro area population and density in the central area is actually quite complicated, but it is not at all proportional. Once you control for topography (which is a stronger influence than anything else), you find a superlinear relationship last I checked.

      4. If you want to say “Seattle is to Portland as SF is to San Jose”… well, that actually kind of makes sense. Sort of. Interesting thought, anyway!

  2. That Metro Eastside map looks great, but where can I get a physical copy? Making them available on the B line or other eastside buses would seem to be a logical step…

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