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09.12.2013
King County, Washington, home to Seattle, recently released new versions of its public transport network maps. On his Human Transit blog, public transit planning consultant Jarrett Walker argues that most transit maps are misleading. The better approach, Walker argues, is a "frequent map" a€” distinguishing different lines based on when they are in service, how quickly they move, and how far they go. In a 2010 post arguing the merits of frequency mapping, Walker used King County's bus map as an example of what was wrong with the non-frequent approach.
It's a simple improvement that makes getting around a city more intuitive, saving time and aggravation.
The size of New York's transit network does not change the fact that MTA maps would be improved if they indicated which bus lines operate more frequently than others (not all are created equal).


Not noted in my article is that a frequent map for the subway system would be especially helpful, as frequency of operation varies widely (compare the G to the 6, for example). All a frequency map would do is tell me how long I MIGHT have to wait IF I just miss a bus or train? The frequent map is not designed to tell you exactly when trains or buses are coming, but to identify which lines run more often, and thus are likely to get you from A to B the fastest. It is analogous to a road map, which does not display how much traffic there is, but clearly designates highways as the (usually) quickest way to cover a lot of distance. While they may seem standard, they actually represent a significant move forward in how cities communicate crucial information to residents and visitors.
Unlike road maps, which use thicker lines for larger roads, they represent all bus or subway lines in the same way, regardless of how often and when they run.


You can't really compare Seattles map to the largest public transporation system in the country Its quite fair to say that New York buses run frequently so the New York map is correct.
If I'm going somewhere along the line I have to take that route anyway and usually you know how often trains come trough.
What really helps straphangers are the countdown clocks in some subways stations which tell you how long until the next train BUT you usually have to swipe your Metrocard first and walk down to the platform to see them.




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