seattle: a new frequent network map

The populist frequent-network mapping continues.  Here's very clear frequent network map for Seattle, showing where you can get to if you don't like waiting. It's by Oran Viriyincy via Seattle Transit Blog. He discusses his process here.

Seattle ftn

If you want to understand how transit works (and sometimes doesn't) in Seattle, you need a map like this on your wall. 

16 Responses to seattle: a new frequent network map

  1. Daniel Howard January 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    So, if it is on the map, it is “frequent”?

  2. Oran January 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    Daniel, yes, at a minimum 15 minute headway on weekdays from morning to 6 pm. The table on the left shows when frequent service is provided.
    Jarrett, thanks for the mention!

  3. Tsuyoshi January 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    I’m surprised the 16 isn’t on there. I suppose it doesn’t run every 15 minutes anymore?
    This is a nice map. It really seems like what I had in my head after living in Seattle without a car for 6 years. Strangely enough, it makes me think that, now that I live in New York, there is a bit too much detail in the subway map here, because what I have in my head is a bit different than what’s in the map.

  4. David M January 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Really nice map – one of the best I’ve seen. Easy to read at a glance and detail for those who want it.
    Nice job.

  5. Oran January 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Tsuyoshi: The 16 now runs every 20 minutes. In earlier iterations of my map, I used a thinner line for less frequent service that continues from frequent lines. I didn’t add them here to keep the map clear.

  6. Rob Fellows January 18, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I like it. Nice work Oran!

  7. Alon Levy January 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Oran, I can’t understand from this map which routes overlay which. Could you produce a version that’s the same, except routes have different colors when they’re interlined?

  8. zefwagner January 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Alon, I had the same reaction. Anywhere on the map where routes combine is pretty difficult to decipher. Different colors would help, at least on the numbers. Of course, if Seattle had more of a grid system this would be less of an issue, but geography conspires against us. I also like Portland’s method of numbers in squares for buses and circles for rail to help differentiate.

  9. Oran January 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Alon, when you say overlay, do you mean two routes that are connected together and change numbers at a major point in the middle? If so, that is why I have the Through Routes table in the lower left of the map. In my previous maps, those routes would share the same color but not all trips continue on to another route. Some routes are only interlined on weekends and evenings. So it may lead to confusion.
    Zef, you can see the first frequent map I made two years ago and a more recent draft of a map I designed to replace Metro’s system map in the city of Seattle. It has multiple colors for each line. For the new map I wanted to try something different, because as you can see, from the way Seattle’s transit routes are set up, a lot of the service funnels into downtown or the U District, resulting in a rainbow of lines that are redundant and cluttering. I don’t like using insets because I want to see the entire network on the same map. Both are two ends of extremes.
    Like all maps of this style, you have to trace the path from the labels. I tried to add visual cues to help follow where routes go like a curve when a route turns. I try to keep the labels to a minimum, sufficient to connect the dots. At least there isn’t an obnoxious number of irrelevant routes. I do acknowledge one weakness of this design is not being clear on where certain routes begin or end.

  10. Alon Levy January 19, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    When I mean overlay, I mean two lines with different numbers that share part of their route.

  11. TransitPlannerMunich January 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Is 15 minutes frequent? For a city?

  12. EngineerScotty January 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    This is the US we’re talking about, TPM… gotta grade on the curve. :)

  13. Abromfie January 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    @TransitPlannerMunich: If this was a map of 10-minute service, there would only be seven lines on the map. Anything less than 10, and the map would be blank. (Seattle does have more frequent service at rush-hour, but no midday service has a shorter headway than 10 minutes.)

  14. Pete (UK) January 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Definitely would benefit from different colours to denote each route. I was surprised that 15 mins was the trigger point to qualify as frequent, I imagine Seattle to be a large city and thus have higher frequencies. The municipal bus service in the English town of Swindon, pop 184,000 has a frequent network of 8 routes 6 with a daytime frequency of 10 minutes and 2 every 15 minutes. This is funded entirely from the farebox, only evenings and Sundays require subsidy.
    Latest buses look pretty cool too:

  15. Pete (UK) January 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Or take the south coast resort of Bournemouth where Transdev Yellow Buses (a former municipal) service 1 corridor consists of 1a every 10 minutes, and 1b/1c every 20 minutes, making 12 buses an hour on the combined section between Bournemouth Square and Boscombe during daytimes, again funded from the farebox.

  16. Alon Levy January 21, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    Seattle may not have the transit frequency of Swindon, but it has more freeways entering its urban core than London.