Chart of the Day – Metro Transit System Map

June 2014 System Map from Metro Transit (no longer available for download, but available on request).

June 2014 System Map from Metro Transit (no longer available for download, but available on request (17MB).

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7 Responses to Chart of the Day – Metro Transit System Map

  1. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele August 8, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    It looks like such a mess (a beautiful mess, but a mess). A few ideas of mine to make the map more legible for unfamiliar spatial navigators, for whom the current map is a barrier to transit:

    – More interlining of routes to make downtowns simpler.

    – Rather than branches, run more routes to individual endpoints. Create “key” routesheds for multiple routes serving the same corridors outside of downtowns (6, 12 etc to Uptown).
    – Another HUGE benefit of this would be the opportunity to interline many express buses, especially east metro ones, between the downtowns. A westbound express would switch to “key routeshed” branding in St. Paul just as the Nicollet Mall buses switch to “Free Shuttle” branding. An eastbound afternoon bus to the east metro would depart with dual “Rt 3XX” and the downtown-to-downtown key routeshed branding… The result of this would have two major benefits. First, increased/replaced 94 service with significantly higher frequencies. Second, more one-seat rides for express commuters from west metro to St. Paul or east metro to Minneapolis. Removing the transfer penalty, even if it’s a 94 transfer, may increase choice ridership.

    – Consider system simplicity when designing service. Is it really worthwhile to always show lines when there may be a couple frequencies per day? Example: The 46 normally hops Bryant from 46th to 50th Streets in Southwest. But three times a day eastbound it hits 49th and Pleasant, and 3 times westbound 50th and Pleasant to serve Washburn HS/Ramsey MS. Granted these may be important diversions for the route. But is it worth adding lines and making it confusing for folks? Another example that bugs me is the E branch of the 14 to the 38th Street LRT rather than continuing down Bloomington Ave. Really? There has to be a better balance to increase legibility/simplicity and draw more people into the system without sacrificing ridership too much.

  2. David Levinson
    David Levinson August 8, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    My first thought is this could be simplified. While I am generally incrementalist (all these things exist for reasons, even if the reasons are forgotten or obsolete), what if we had a blank slate?

    Suppose we ran bus transit routes on the major 1 mile (and secondarily 1/2 mile) gridline sections and the radials, to the point far enough from the cities where demand faded below some threshold, and deleted everything else. Each route would correspond more or less to one named road. How much better service would we have on those roads (and how much worse elsewhere?)? What would the new accessibility by transit to jobs and shops be? The problem is not so much downtowns, but elsewhere in the system. Ideally everyone would have 0 or 1 transfers to reach anywhere in the cities. Something like 20-25 NS routes from Woodbury to Minnetonka, and 10 or so EW routes from Maple Grove to Eden Prairie, and maybe 8 or so diagonals, plus some express bus/freeway BRTs.

  3. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele August 8, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    Interesting comparison: Here’s the Oklahoma City map designed by local cartographer Kyril Negoda: http://embarkok.com/assets/files/maps/EMBARK_SystemMap_4282014.pdf

  4. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke August 8, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    why isn’t this downloadable?

  5. David Levinson
    David Levinson August 8, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    I tweeted to MetroTransit, asking about it, and they said “The system map was removed when we redesigned our website. Please DM us your email address & we can send it to you.”, and obviously they sent it to me.

    I suspect Bureaucracy rather than Maleficence, but their objective I think was to help users who wanted the interactive maps from the Trip Planner, rather than putative Transit Planners who want to see the network as a whole.

    Not great for OpenData, but we can get the GIS and GTFS files if we want them.

  6. David W August 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    You can pick up paper copies from the Metro Transit service centers. I pick up a new one whenever they make significant changes.

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