Future Transit Map

Twin Cities Future Transit Map by Kyril Negoda

Twin Cities Future Transit Map by Kyril Negoda

Many of you have seen this Future Transit Map for the Twin Cities by Kyril Negoda, but it is still an admirable piece of work, putting to shame earlier official renderings, and deserving of mention. (Prints are available.)

Cameron Booth, the arbiter of quality Transit Maps says:

I’ve been following this project with interest for quite a while now, and all I can say now that it’s completed is: WOW!

This is a transit map designed to inspire future riders. It’s beautifully designed, technically excellent (I’ve pulled apart the PDF in Illustrator to get a good look under the hood), and — quite frankly — puts a lot of official transit maps produced in the U.S. to absolute shame.

What I love most is the crystal-clear informational hierarchy: thick, coloured lines represent rapid transit, be it LRT or BRT. Regardless of the mode, service comes frequently (9 to 12 minute headways) and the vehicles move quickly. Grey lines (lower in the hierarchy) show arterial bus service, with line thickness neatly representing service frequency. Beneath this, the I-494/694 ring is subtly shown for orientation, and the geography is rendered in a style that complements the routes beautifully. The legend is clear and easy to use, and the colour scheme for the whole map gives it a very sophisticated, modern feel.

Finally, the icons used on the map are excellent from top to bottom, from the distinctive segmented interchange markers, down to the tiny airport, commuter rail and Amtrak icons. Fantastic attention to detail is evident here.

Our rating: Everything I love about modern transit map design. Five stars!

5 Stars!

Indeed, it is almost enough to make one want future transit lines.

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28 Responses to Future Transit Map

  1. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke March 3, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    I especially like the Red Line going all the way to downtown Minneapolis.

    • David Levinson
      David Levinson March 3, 2014 at 8:54 am #

      Which is so obvious one wonders why it isn’t already official. (See https://streets.mn/2014/01/14/red-line-brt-ratings-and-critiques/ )

      • Matt Steele
        Matt Steele March 3, 2014 at 10:38 am #

        My guess is they are worried it would steal ridership from the Blue Line.

        My idea was to upgrade aBRT on West 7th and interline the two… One seat ride from many in the south metro to Downtown St. Paul. And both lines had (up until recently) 15 minute headways.

      • Bill Lindeke
        Bill Lindeke March 3, 2014 at 10:43 am #

        how many minutes do you think it would take?

      • Morgan March 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

        Maybe because there is not a MN Pass lane on 494. Any plans for MN Pass lanes on 494 or 694?

  2. Brian Moen March 3, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Love the map. Not sure why I never noticed this before, but isn’t it kinda strange that there are only two lines in the north, through North Mpls and the East side of St Paul, but nothing up through Northeast or Como, and basically 4 lines going the southern Minneapolis suburbs.

  3. Reuben Collins
    Reuben Collins March 3, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Interesting that Northstar is not included on the graphic, other than as the “commuter rail” icon. The cartographer took some liberties in determining which potential future routes to include or not include. Perhaps the cartographer is predicting which routes will or will not ultimately be constructed or successful (e.g. Northstar will fold)?

    • Joseph Totten
      Joseph Totten March 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

      I think the bigger thing is that Northstar looks unlikely to become a full day service anytime in the future. It seems like it will remain a commuter service. All the routes shown are full day, local/limited stop style service.

      • Matt Steele
        Matt Steele March 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

        Northstar was probably left off the map because it provides questionable transit mobility.

  4. Darren Tobolt March 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    I don’t like that it leaves out the connection from Downtown Saint Paul to the Airport. In order to build a system that will serve the entire region, the East Metro needs a connection from Union Depot to the Airport.

    • Eric Saathoff
      Eric S March 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Route 54?

      I don’t see a lot of potential with West 7th, but perhaps the brewery plans will change that. It seems isolated by geography and not worthy of LRT (or BRT?) treatment.

    • Matt Hilgart March 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

      Agree with Darren! Where’s the shoutout to the Riverview corridor? That’s a major component to the East Metro’s transit plan…as is Red Rock Corridor–which also isn’t mentioned. Love the user-friendliness and clarity of the map, though.

    • Brian Shekleton March 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      You’re absolutely right and Riverview’s tale is a cautionary one for the cities along the SWLRT line.

  5. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele March 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Here’s the 12 page thread on UrbanMSP that led to the creation of this map:

  6. KN March 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    For anyone interested, here’s a direct link to the map (PDF) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7332382/Map%20Drafts/TwinCities_FutureTransit2030.pdf

    • Joseph Totten
      Joseph Totten March 3, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

      You my good Sir or Madam are awesome, I have tried to find this a few times and been met with subpar resolution. YOU ROCK!

  7. Alex March 3, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Route 68 south of Downtown St. Paul is shown incorrectly, at least based on today’s service levels. While it does serve Robert Street, it never turns westbound to terminate at Livingston (although Route 75 does this). Rather, all Route 68 buses turn east into South St. Paul and cross I-494 on 5th Avenue and make it at least as far south as 5th Ave & South St on the border with Inver Grove Heights (where some Route 68 buses terminate, while others continue south to Inver Hills Community College and the Arbor Pointe shopping area).

  8. Andrew Degerstrom
    Andrew Degerstrom March 3, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    So I don’t know the context regarding which local bus routes to include. And for the routes that are included, are they simply supposed to be what the routes are today? If so, there are a couple of topological violations and routes being represented incorrectly, as well as not having the entirety of routes represented. Regardless, this is the best system map that I have ever seen.

  9. Jeremy Hop
    Jeremy Hop March 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Can we add Route 30 Broadway-Crosstown (North Mpls-St Paul via Broadway/Hwy280/Univ) to the map? This new route begins March 8th.

    Can a person order a big wall poster of this map? I would love to have one!

    • KN March 4, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Yes, there is a link to a Society6 store in the first paragraph of post.

  10. Steven Prince March 5, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    Beautiful graphic that drives home the idiocy of “transit planning” in the Twin Cities – not a single stop in a walkable neighborhood of SW Minneapolis with densities capable of supporting non-automobile owning households. Some stops along the useless Kennilworth alignment (no urban neighborhoods and no place to build any – the real problem with SWLRT) and some stops along 35W (its an interstate folks – not an urban corridor).

    This is a system like the DC Metro – destined to increase sprawl by shortening travel time for far flung commuters who can now drive to a suburban rail stop instead of all the way into the City.

    Instead of calling this a transit system we should call it a “park and ride” system.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill March 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      What about all those grey lines?

      • Steven Prince March 5, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

        those are buses Bill, not LRT.

  11. minneapolisite March 6, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    The problem is that even if this were finished by the end of this year it by and large would serve a small number of suburbanites and a few city dwellers working out in the burbs at places which you might be able to walk to if it’s right next to the station, but even then due to suburban/exurban design even then it may not be doable, especially in the winter where there’s no sidewalks and a snow bank surrounds bus shelters with no choice but to walk in the road since the LRT doesn’t take them any step further. ot exactly a boon for city residents to work out in the burbs since so many jobs will not be reachable by the LRT system.

    Shouldn’t such a map be geared 180 degrees in the other direction with most stops in denser, walkable, bikeable urban areas? And it’s not just Twin Cities residents living within their respective city boundary, but think about making us accessible to visitors. This LRT line fails in that regard too. Where are visitors, “tourists” dare I say, going to go on that magenta line? To the end of the line at Wayzata, the poor man’s Excelsior? The Red and Orange lines will take you *to* 38th and 46th where the 23 and 46 respectively can take you to a host of quality local destinations that could serve as a draw, but no one is going to be willing to do a 30 or so minute wait for the bus routes that serve (or disserve rather), especially in this weather (speaking of which, Blue Ox Coffee is seeking donations on their facebook page to compensate to keep up on their rent since this winter has put a sizable dent in sales and I’d of course argue that such a situation is also due to having no bus service connecting businesses on 38th to riders/customers east or west of any of these businesses).

    I’d be way more excited to see a future hi-frequency bus route map instead of the paltry one we have now which sadly, despite the drop in the bucket it would cost in comparison to LRT, has a similar small number of routes, http://www.metrotransit.org/high-frequency-network-map.aspx

    Also I have to agree with the negative comment on the DC LRT: riding the blue line much of the dense development was not walkable since they were purely residential with only the LRT station being walkable and not businesses sprawled around them:to which they have to drive in order to reach anyway. But hey, sprawl has been able to piggyback on these LRTS lines and branched beyond the ends of them so that people can live a half hour away from the end and are able commute to the park & ride LRT station. That’s the last thing to need to encourage here.


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