[UPDATED September 21, 2016] Want the complete network? Check out my Seattle Transit Map.
This is the update to my Seattle Frequent Transit Map that reflects the big Fall 2012 Metro service change. It presents a general overview of transit service in the city of Seattle that operates every 15 minutes or better during weekdays, from 6 am to 6 pm. Also included on the back is an evening frequent service map.
While the map retains its mostly monochromatic look from the previous edition, there are a few improvements:
- Route numbers and lines should be easier to read and follow, especially in the downtown area. RapidRide lines get a thicker red line. And Link is still king.
- Park areas and points of interest have been added, as is some of the street network for greater context. The streets also help readers visualize gaps in the frequent service network.
- Slightly more descriptive frequent service guide. Link’s frequency is summarized graphically. Metro, Sound Transit, and OneBusAway contact info is now included.
- Even with the expansion of frequent service into Ballard and West Seattle, the map now fits on a single sheet of standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper for easy printing.
- It is now called the “every 15 minutes (or less) map”, in reference to Los Angeles’ map of the same name. I don’t care if you still call it the “frequent transit map”.
- The “Evenings in Seattle” map was derived from the main map with lines removed for clarity. The night owl routes could be added in future revisions.
Your questions and comments are welcome.
128 Replies to “Seattle Every 15 Minutes (or Better)”
Poor Wedgewood and poor Admiral.
and Magnolia, and SODO
Magnolia’s problems are largely self-inflicted. They shot down a better local network which would have given most riders a much faster trip downtown and a direct connection to Ballard, for the totally fatuous excuse that West Viewmont, a place with vanishingly small ridership, would have lost coverage. The 24 would not have been frequent service, but it would have been far more useful, and might have justified an increase in service at some point in the future if it attracted more riders.
I’m not sure what the complaint about SODO is, it came out far better than previously. The north end still has gobs of service on Link and the busway, it now has a crosstown to West Seattle and the Rainier Valley, and it has a coherent and comprehensible frequent service corridor on 4th Ave S.
Magnolia does have 4 buses an hour with the 24/33 to Thorndyke Ave W and W Hayes St. It’s not really every 15 minutes because they’re not coordinated that well, but it’s something.
If I recall correctly, Magnolia was also just about the only neighborhood in the city to reject the urban village designation. You get what you ask for, sometimes.
I would blame commuters on the east hill over West Viewmont folk myself. That was where I saw a lot of upset people and direct lobbying on the bus for people to call Metro. 28th were not fans of a longer commute on the 33, the 33 people were worrying that 28th would fill the bus up before it got to them… They cut night service on West Viewmont even before this revision, without noticeable uproar.
The reaction in my household was ‘huh, OK, walking to the village it is.’ Though if they’d proposed messing with the 19 we’d have actually been pissed. :)
There are lots of routes that run through Wedgwood, but without much coordination. It seems plausible that post-U Link Wedgwood service might be restructured around a frequent connection to UW Station, or that post-North Link Wedgwood service might be restructured around a frequent connection to Roosevelt.
I go to Wedgwood 0-2 times per week, often on bike, sometimes by car, sometimes on bus. Bus usually means a transfer in the U District. I can take the 71 or the 65… and if neither of those were coming soon I might settle for a 30 or 68 and some extra walking if available (of course the 30 doesn’t exist anymore). Because of the different places these routes pick up and that I’m often coming in from work on the 255 or 540, a lot of frantic OBA checking and speed-walking is involved in this transfer since these routes pick up at different places (the 71 and former 30 on the Ave, the 65 and 68 I’d typically get at Stevens/Grant since I’m coming from either Montlake or 15th).
So… I guess what I’m trying to say is that what looks like a giant hole on the map around Wedgwood isn’t quite as much that as it seems, partly because there’s lots of regular-but-infrequent service there and partly because the quality of transit in Lake City is overstated by the appearance of the 372/522.
As for restructuring… even if the 71, 65, and 68 kept their basic shape, they’d could work together if they shared even a single stop in the U District (sort of like how the 26, 28, and 40 combine for super-frequent service between 3rd/Pine and 34th/Fremont although they take different routes to get there). But until the 71 is truncated in the U District that just slows it down on its way downtown (even more than the Ave already does).
The portion of the 30 that goes near-ish Wedgwood still exists. Only the portion between the U-District and Seattle Center was replaced by the 32.
Hey, the 30 still exists! Hot damn there are lots of infrequent, circuitous, vaguely duplicative bus routes in the Northeast! I really, really hope they don’t Magnolia their chance for a restructure when U Link opens.
The part of the 30 that actually attracts a lot of riders is the part near campus. I think it would be pretty easy to have the 68 take over that part of the route (with some increased frequency at peak hours), let the 372 handle the few stops on 25th south of 55th, and just axe the 30, with very little inconvenience to riders.
The 74 as a peak-hour express to downtown makes a lot more sense.
Other than Wedgwood, the gaps aren’t as obvious as the overserved areas. Some of this is the result of geographic distortion; the 5 and 358 are spaced out from the 26/28, and both of them from the 40, making Queen Anne look more overserved than they actually are when those three lines all hug pretty close to the side of Lake Union. The 3 and 4 head up the east side of Queen Anne, and the 2 and 13 up the middle, but this map makes it look like the 3 and 4 head up the middle and the 2 and 13 up the west side. Capitol Hill looks overserved as well, and the U-District would be overserved if it weren’t for its importance warranting it.
Compare to the Metro map, where the east side of Queen Anne looks overserved, but it makes more sense when you consider the steepness. The Metro map also portrays Capitol Hill’s overserved-ness more accurately (pointing the finger at the 19th Ave leg of the 12 and the closely-spaced routes on Pine, Seneca/Union, and Madison) and makes Southeast Seattle actually look adequately served, in part because of the I-5 buses, which look both like local service and a lot closer to the 131/132.
Beautiful maps. That night map makes it crystal clear just how far we have to go…
And that’s only before 10 pm.
Want to know what the after 10 map looks like?
I think even I could draw that map.
My intention was actually to end that post with a colon.
I think after 10 PM, the frequent service map would include the 44, 71/72/73 down Eastlake, and (maybe) the 48 until 10:30 or so.
Late-evening service in real cities doesn’t die at 10:30 like the 48 or 11:15 like the 44 either.
A late-evening frequent-service map would contain exactly two things: Link and the 70-series. That’s it, and that sucks.
Nice map! The 31/32 are only signed that way until Campus Pkwy. They turn into the 65/75 as they go through Stevens Way, and I’m not sure what happens after that.
no … the SB/WB 75 turns into the 31/32 now … happens right before U Village … confused everyone on the bus
Eastbound, the sign change happens right before arriving at Campus Parkway.
Westbound, the sign change should happen right before entering the UW campus, although there have been conflicting reports of where it is actually happening over the last couple of days.
But I agree the number label right by Childrens should say “65/75”.
David … both times I have taken the WB 75 it has become a 32 about 2/3 stops before the U Village stop (the one you get to by ducking under the 45th st viaduct
What do the stops say?
The 65/75 combo have the same route until right by Children’s Hospital, where the 65 turns north on 40th Ave NE and the 75 continues on Sand Point Way. I feel like relabelling them to 65/75 after the U is kind of confusing for eastbound riders…but right now it’d be confusing for someone leaving Children’s and going east – they’d never see a route labelled 31 or 32!
(Also, the 31/32 schedule does list the stops as indicated on Oran’s map: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/schedules/s032_0_.html)
I’m not sure what the headsigns say right now but it would be nice if the 65/75s that that turned into a 32 said U District/Fremont or U District/Lower Queen Anne and the 65/75s that turn into a 31 said U District/Fremont or U District/Magnolia. Seems like that would reduce confusion for Children’s commuters going home to Magnolia/LQA.
The 43s that were about to turn into 44s usually did this – saying U District/Ballard.
You kids with your new-fangled internet thing. The paper schedule shows whether you board a Route 65 or 75 near Children’s Hospital. Sigh – sometimes the old ways are the best.
And the 44s changing into 43s have Capitol Hill on their headsigns.
But how can you show a mid-line number change in a readable way, especially when Metro just says “65 or 75” instead of one or the other? What this really demonstrates is that Metro should renumber the 65 and 75 to make them officially part of the 31 and 32 rather than separate routes. Then the problem of how to show them on the map goes away.
exactly … that’s why I hate routes that change numbers mid-ride … confused a whole bunch of folks on the 75 last night when OBS suddenly changed from showing rt75 to rt32 … so many folks went to ask the driver where the 32 went and should they get off to wait for a 75 he had to make an announcement explaining that the bus would make all old 75 stops up to Campus Parkway.
Campus parkway is a better place to change route numbers anyway since that is a transfer point … better than lets say 74th st.
According to the Rider Alert, it’s not always consistent which route changes to which route.
This is what the rider alert pamphlet says about Route 75:
“Also, it will no longer connect to Route 330 from Lake City to Shoreline CC or be connected to routes 31 or 32 in the U- District.”
Which is obviously an error, right? It is connected to Routes 31 and 32.
Kyle, that’s correct — the Rider Alert has an error.
Gordon, this is only new for 75 riders. The 65 previously turned into the 67, and the 68 previously turned into the 31. The 75 was previously too long for a through-route, until Metro gave the Northgate-Ballard section to the 40 instead. People were used to it on the 65 and 68, and they’ll get used to it quickly on the 75.
“People were used to it on the 65 and 68, and they’ll get used to it quickly on the 75.”
That may be OK for frequent riders but it doesn’t help occasional riders or visitors. Normally when Metro interlines routes it makes clear that this is not a “corridor” but just an operational convenience, and the interlining may change at any time. But here Metro is trying to make a “corridor” from Emerson to Children’s, or at least from Fremont to Children’s. If so, what better way to show it than a consistent route number along its length. The problem of switching between the 65 and 75 sounds spurious. Did Metro even try to interline the 75 consistently with one route rather than switching back and forth?
i have to agree that they should just be called either 31/32 or 65/75…I have ridden from childrens to magnolia a couple of times now and the first time I actually got off the bus looking for the 31…the drivers never announce it in my experience…what is the point of the number change??? if some don’t continue through – label them like the 7x series that only go to 65th then return to base….don’t make things confusing…set people up for success…..
Really nice. Your maps are always so much better than anything that comes out of Metro.
Given that Metro defines frequent as 15 minutes or less, this map is totally awesome.
I’d love to see differentiation (a different sort of dashed line?) for those that are 10 minutes or less. I’ve also been reminded recently, though, that as someone in SE, I am spoiled with a variety of service at 10 minutes or less. It’s likely that the only differentiation would be for routes: 3/4, 7, 36, 71X-72X-73X. Others?
The Route 28 runs every 30 minutes during the weekday and Saturday.
Nope, that’s it.
Why do all Metro routes have published schedules EXCEPT not RR lines? Every 15 minutes still needs a schedule.
Because Metro operates under the delusion that 15 minute headways is “frequent service.” Yet it didn’t stop them from publishing an all-day schedule for the 15 and 18…
That all-day schedule for the 15 and 18 is now a museum piece.
…or the significant number of routes with 10 minute headways most of the day, far more frequent then Rapid Ride, with a longer span of service.
Not having a schedule allows them to adjust the runs to space them more evenly when they’re late or early. The net result is that it’s sometimes less than 15 minutes for a while, which is a net benefit to riders. I’ve sometimes seen Link with 7-minute or even 2-minute frequency at 7 or 8pm when it should officially be 10-minute. With a schedule, passengers get really mad if a bus leaves “early”. Without a schedule, there’s room to maneuver.
It’s in the eye of the beholder whether these unpredicatable periods of excess frequency make up for the lack of schedule (which forces people to leave 7 or 15 minutes early if they want to guarantee they’ll make the transfer to a less-frequent bus).
Its the difference between operating on a 15 minute schedule (most, if not all non-RapidRide frequent routes) and operating on 15 minute headway maintenance. Rapid Ride is intended to be headway maintenance, and by definition has no schedule to adhere to.
Even with a schedule, you still have to leave 7-15 minutes early to guarantee a connection to a less frequent bus because any connection that, on paper, has you waiting less than that, will be unreliable.
I do think that is one small upside of not having a published schedule, and I wonder if it might also influence driver behavior along the route since there is no need to purposely slow down in order to stick to the schedule.
The Route 28 runs every 30 minutes during the weekday, Sat and Sunday.
Sorry I realized that you were counting the 26 and 28 south of Fremont together. On Dexter they do run every 15 minutes together.
In theory. In practice, not so much.
Is the RapidRide D still considered every 15 minutes or less when you get two or three within a minute and then nothing for 30 minutes?
It’s like…what, day 3 of the service change? Give it time.
I don’t think “time” will solve the bunching problems with the RapidRide. The 15/18 have been around forever and the bunching problems always existed with them. It’s a matter of getting rid of the through routing, something that Metro refuses to even attempt to solve.
Just give it six months to a year for Metro to finish installing the off-board fare collection and building the curb bulbs that were supposed to be what made RapidRide better than existing service.
Also, teaching their operators how queue jumps work, as apparently my D operator did not understand yesterday.
I think there’s a mix-up on night map labels on the 3/4 (north), 48 and 49:
http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/schedules/s049_1_.html — 15 mins ’til 10 Mon-Sat
http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/schedules/s048_1_.html — 15 mins ’til 10 Mon-Fri, not Sat
http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/schedules/s003_1_.html — 15 mins ’til 10 Mon-Fri, not Sat
The one way arrows on Seneca and Columbia are backwards.
Same with Queen Anne/1st. Otherwise, beautiful and very effectively presented.
Thanks. Ugh, I hate couplets.
And the reason Metro doesn’t produce maps like this is…what, exactly? One of our Metro readers, please respond!
Great map, Oran. This new version is much more robust and full-featured. I compared this map to the Jan 2011 version, and Metro’s restructures have brought significant improvements to frequent service.
These corridors have gained daytime frequent service since Jan 2011:
24th Av NW
15th Av NW (N. of Leary)
Greenwood N. of 105th St
Sand Point Way (from UW to Children’s Hospital)
Westlake (Mercer to Fremont)
19th Av E
California Av SW (Admiral to Morgan Junction)
Fauntleroy/Barton route from Morgan Junction to Westwood Village)
35th Av SW
But where did the Seattle Center Monorail go?
It’s there as a note in a box on the map. I felt it was cluttering to show a line that had no intermediate stops. Maybe I should put it back in the service guide (and on the evening map) so it’s more visible.
19th Ave was previously only about three trips a day in the PM peak short of frequent service, due to crappy scheduling. The new 12 schedule eliminates all but three of the short turns on the 12, in the AM peak. It’s a vastly improved schedule.
Thanks for enumerating these. I was going to say that it looked like the coverage of the frequent network had improved considerably (LOL) but I didn’t know the specifics.
Some of these corridors won’t have huge immediate impact, but they’re certainly getting closer to the network that will be worth doubling down on. This map makes the recent improvements clear.
I really think it’s terrific and I will use it for sure – put it on the side of my fridge for reference. The map also effectively communicates how the downtown tunnel works with both buses and trains, something I think Metro has had difficulty with in its own maps.
My only minor suggestion is to use rounded courners for the geography, similar to the rounded corners used for the routes themselves. I think that would give the map a very polished and cohesive look.
A truly amazing map. This is the sort of map that you need to get around functionally without a car. And, as others have posted, it reveals some of the real problems with our transit network.
Thanks for the work on this!
Somehow they’re able and willing to provide all these 15 minute routes with schedules, except the most expensive, fanciest one. Odd, that.
Really nice map, Oran.
An interesting subtlety in West Seattle emerges: The 50 + 128 combined give better than 15 minute headways to meet the A Line, but neither offers 15 minute headways if you are going to Sodo/Rainier Valley or Southcenter, respectively. Hopefully riders don’t trip on that nuance…on the other hand, these kinds of maps tend to attract the savvier transit fans.
Doh! — I meant, “….meet the C Line.”
One of the neat features about WestSeattleBlog is the Edit function.
Woah, Brent. TR at the West Seattle Flog sure spanked your bare naked butt today. LOL. But don’t let it get you down.
LA posts their 15-minute map right next to their system map at every rail and bus station. So the target audience for these kinds of maps is actually much wider than “savvy transit fans”.
And the 50 and 128 combo is actually effective 15-minute service in only one direction (southbound), because both routes are long and have multiple schedule issues, and are more or less unpredictable (especially the 128) by the time they get to the Junction going northbound.
How much would it cost to pay a company like Poster Giant (which puts up ads for music and other shows on light poles and walls across the city) to put up these transit maps?
There’s such a thing as guerilla art, so why not something truly useful like guerilla transit information?
Poster Giant are [ot] who cover up everyone else’s notices with their walls of the same repeated poster.
For the evening map, have you considered a way to show routes that run after 10pm? What are the options for someone getting out of a performance or event at 11pm – midnight at Seattle Center or Benaroya or a stadium? Or someone who expects to be drinking and wants to be sure they have a way home without driving or paying for a cab. There are a number of Seattle routes that run well after 10pm and some of those even have reasonable (relative term) frequency til midnight. I don’t mean to clutter your map with extra colors or line types and weekday/weekend variants, but some way to show this would be VERY useful. Perhaps there are enough of these routes that the default title could be 11pm with exceptions marked. Thanks for your great maps!
Did you download the PDF and look at the back?
I was indeed looking at the back when I made the comment. (I started the post with “For the evening map…”). That side shows service “until 10pm.” I was asking about how to show service that goes even later, considering the kinds of trips I mentioned in my original comment.
I have considered that but to get something on the blog in a timely fashion, I just kept it simple. Future versions will include a more comprehensive night network. Something like the owl routes and routes with 30 minute service after 10 pm.
I purposely chose to call it an evening map because I know the word “night” would imply later service, like after midnight.
Great map, Oran! Amazingly legible and usable.
Your approach to distinguishing express segments is particularly elegant. It was also quite clever to merge Pike & Pine into their single mutual trunk line to reduce clutter, while still labeling them such that a layperson can easily figure out they run on a couplet.
Shame, though, that the map would vanish for anyone interested in truly liberating frequency (10-12 minutes or less).
And, man, that anemic after-6:00 map…
I know 15 minutes isn’t ideal. For Metro it’s either 15 or 30 (or 20 for Rt 16) minutes. Same thing with LA that went from 12 minutes to 15 minutes for its map.
Excellent! Very professional looking, and easier to read than any of Metro’s maps. I like the “5 to Shoreline CC” tags at the map border; it’s informative and elegant looking.
A few nits. I miss the arrowheads at the ends of the lines your previous version had, to show which direction the routes go less-frequently. It’s informative to know that the 31 goes west and the 32 goes south even if you don’t show the whole route, because it clues people in to the fact that they might want to look at the 32 schedule to see if that extension would be useful to them. Otherwise it looks like both routes terminate at 15th & Emerson.
The DSTT needs more prominence: a darker color or wider lines. It gets kind of lost between the red lines and the green lines, and it takes a minute to realize that if you stay on the train from Stadium, you’ll continue to Pioneer Square and University Street. The DSTT stations get visually lost.
The evening map is not quite readable yet. It’s hard to keep track of which days the different dashes mean. Perhaps a more intuitive system for the dashed ones, like groups of three dashes with an outline around them, the first dash meaning weekday, the second Saturday, and the third Sunday, with one dash missing or outlined if it’s not frequent that day.
The one-line horizontal rows in the water (like “7-36-120”) don’t really do it for me. I’d rather see those vertical. The “345-346” is OK because it’s next to a route line. The “41…” is OK because it’s two lines. Also, it’s hard to tell what “End of northbound” and “End of southbound” mean. If you can’t visually show them terminating (e.g., with a line ending in a circle), maybe it’s better to just leave that off.
Also, I wish there was more of an indication that multiple routes combine to provide frequent service, and don’t provide frequent service on their own. Metro now does this better than Oran’s map (if you’re looking at the paper versions at stops, that is); we saw earlier in the thread the confusion this can result in.
I don’t think it’s necessary to indicate that on the map, as the map only shows segments of routes that have frequent service, unlike a full system map. It would be helpful though to make note of that in the service guide.
Showing continuation or termination of routes has always been a weakness of the map. Showing downtown in a readable manner without an inset is also a challenge. I’ll continue to find ways to improve both.
The evening map, admittedly, was a quick job done after the main map. It could be a lot better.
Would placing a circle over the point where the line from the “end of northbound” group leads to help?
“Showing downtown in a readable manner without an inset is also a challenge.”
Harry Beck figured this one out in the 30s — and it’s still used even on “geographic” maps like the NYC subway map. The key is geographic distortion of the map, so that downtown has more inches-per-mile (centimeters-per-kilometer?) than the areas outside downtown. This is a bit tricky as it requires an appropriately distorted base map, and figuring out the correct distortion to use for your city is not straightforward.
However, I’d suggest trying it, you’ll probably find it entertaining.
Ah, I see you’ve already used some geographic distortion.
Use more. :-) What would it look like if you expand the east-west area from Queen Anne to MLK while shrinking the east and west edges of the map?
I’m rather saddened by the graphical interpretation here that the area south of Mt. Baker Station/Spokane Street has been squeezed in representation, while the Northside streets are shown with much wider spacing. It’s about four miles from Franklin High School to Rainier Beach High School for example, and the graphic makes that distance look about 3 to 4 times shorter than the distance between 145th and the U District. I understand that more coverage should be represented in a larger scale to make the routes more understandable, but a distortion this pronounced creates a unwarranted “northside bias” to this map. It’s rather offensive to southeast Seattle riders, frankly.
It’s offensive to south Seattle that it doesn’t have much of a grid of frequent services, partly due to geography. I suppose I could tighten up the area between Northgate and 145th St but that area will be getting more frequent service when North Link opens.
The northside bias isn’t unique to this map. Hell, even the famed London Underground map has it!
One more thing, there would be less distortion had I kept the old longer paper size. I don’t have much space to work with. Or I could spend a few hours tweaking things to create more space in the south. It’s not like I did it to insult anyone.
Relax, as a 118er myself I have no problem with adjusting the map to make it more legible. In fact I am glad you did. Some people are too easily offended
Seattle is remarkably north-south to start with, so fitting a good map onto 8.5×11 is going to be hard, period. I might compress the area north of Northgate in order to expand *downtown*.
You’d get more benefit out of compressing the west and east edges of the map to expand downtown in an E-W direction, though.
I think the transit tunnel would be clearer if the bus line was to one side of the Link line rather than “in the middle” of it. And it has to be on the right side since the surface bus lines are on the left side. More east-west space would help a lot with drawing this….
It may come as somewhat of a shock that the London Underground still uses a map that emphasizes the Circle Line at the expense of all the various branches.
It’s a miracle, really, that the offended Southeast Londoners manage to get anywhere at all, saddened and offended that they understandably must be.
It also looks vaguely racist or classist. I’m reminded of the criticism of the Mercator projection.
Are you one the 4300 dues paying members of the Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality? ;)
The Mercator projection isn’t very useful for general purposes (it’s an oceanic navigator’s map), but the replacements proposed by the people criticizing it on racist and classist grounds were even stupider.
What was actually needed was something like an Eckers equal-area projection — which, incidentally, is what National Geographic uses (they aren’t stupid).
A Peters projection is a valid map!
I am a SE Seattle resident and honestly can’t believe someone would be offended by the representation of SE Seattle in Oran’s map. It conveys all the necessary information, and a schematic map like this makes no promises of scale. Oran, please don’t make it worse by smooshing the areas with lots of lines together just to put more blank space in SE Seattle.
It looks like 372 and 522 terminate in Lake City. Nearly all the time, 522 is a better choice to/from Downtown at 125th.
The Ave is a POI?
I didn’t want to create a whole new representation style for shopping districts. Frankly, UW Tower would be a better landmark.
Or a street label like the others?
Nitpick: Madison St bends near 23rd, not 12th. But then, that was probably an intentional move caused by the existing distortions.
You’re right on both points.
Capitol Hill east of Broadway has a nighttime sad :(. More latenight 43/11 service please…
The 43 actually has inbound high frequencies until quite late, but this is just a quirk of the 44 being a trolleybus. The 11 does indeed suck late at night.
Great map, Oran!
Unfortunately, many of these routes are not frequent on weekends. By my reckoning this is the 7-day daytime map.
Sparse and even more downtown-centric than the weekday map.
On another thread it was pointed out that a frequent map could be made with a Monday-Saturday definition without losing anything any transit geek would miss (admittedly I think that was under the old system); it’s Sunday that’s the weak link.
It isn’t in the title but the description in the guide does say it’s a weekday daytime map.
I chose to show the maximum extent of daytime frequent service, which is available 5 days a week. For other times, there’s the service guide to the right.
Why the two different shades of green for parks?
Didn’t notice that until now! Thanks.
For anyone with a regular job, frequent service between 6 AM and 6 PM weekdays is not something to get that excited about. You take the same bus every day to work and back and don’t care about any of the other buses. And the frequent service in the middle of the day occurs when you’re sitting in the office and are unable to use it.
Frequent service Saturday and Sunday during the day, plus evenings between 7 and 11 PM would be more indicative on frequent service actually providing freedom of somewhat spontaneous mobility.
Does there exist (or has anyone thought about creating) a map consisting only of express buses, including those that only run during peak hours?
Depends what you mean by express. For reasons I never understood, the 66 carries the “express” label, but the 41 doesn’t, despite getting from downtown to Northgate in half the time with no intermediate stops.
The 66 skips stops along Eastlake served by the 70. That makes it “express” in Metro’s definition. Same with the 358, that skips stops served by the 5 and 16 along Aurora.
Maybe not just explicitly labeled express buses, then, but a map containing buses that would be your best bet for getting a medium-to-long distance in a short period of time. Like I could get home to my apartment in Wallingford from downtown by taking the local 16 and 26, but I’m absolutely going to take the 26X or the 358 if they’re available. I know that’s vague but anything that has really wide stop spacing or skips a bunch of intermediate stops would be a good start.
I confess to wanting to see it for purely selfish reasons, to see where I might want to move in the future that would give me the best commute and crosstown transit options.
So you want a map based on travel time, not frequency.
Have you tried Mapnificent?
Drop a pin on the map and it’ll show you areas reachable by public transit within a certain amount of time. It doesn’t show routes but it’s a good start.
OneBusAway has done that since its inception.
Unrelated, but can I mention what a huge revelation the 26 express was to me? I spent 6 months commuting to a job where the local 26 was the only option timing-wise and slowly went crazy as a result. Switching jobs meant that now I can go from N 40th St to 3rd and Pike in 15 minutes during peak hours while bypassing a massive parking lot of SOVs jammed on Aurora. I had no idea that Metro could work that well. Too bad it’s not an option when I’m not commuting.
It really is great service – particularly southbound where the reliability is really solid.
I don’t believe the 21 has frequent Sunday service, even now with the improvements…awesome map though.
Beautiful map, great job. thank you.
But one correction, the 8 should be labeled as 2 (or 3!) buses every ~45 minutes at peak times.
Thank you for providing this lovely map!
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