SF Cityscape has done a refinement of their excellent frequent network map for San Francisco, one that highlights the basic structure of the network that's useful for impatient people at all times of day. You can download the full GIF and or PDF here. A slice:
- Limited stop service (numbers with an L suffix in San Francisco) is substantially faster than local-stop, so I think it deserves its own color, possibly shading gradually to the local color when the limited segment ends, as 71L does west of Masonic. A separate color would also clue in the viewer that those lines stop only at the points indicated, while locals stop at more stops.
- To further clarify the previous point, I'd come up with a really tiny stop symbol to mark all stops on local-stop services — maybe labeling them in smaller print or not labeling them at all. This would give a visual indication of frequency of stops that would give an accurate view of relative speed. You really do not want to ride all the way across the city on Line 1, which stops every block or two. Such a notation would help the limited stop services — which really are useful for going all the way across the city — stand out more effectively.
- The mapmaker has followed the transit agency's practice of marking only wheelchair-accessible stops on the surface streetcars such as N. In fact, these line stop every 2-3 blocks, so I would be inclined to mark all stops, maybe using a notation like that above. I'd also advocate separate maps highlighting issues that matter to disabled persons. (Has any transit authority published special maps or online map layers specifically for people in wheelchairs etc, as an alternative to including all this information on a main system map?)
- I would also be inclined to emphasize that surface stops around a rapid transit station are indeed AT that station, so for example I would extend the Van Ness and Civic Center station bullets to encompass the adjacent bus stops rather than giving those stops separate coordinate names. This is especially important on schematic maps because the user is wary that a small space on the map might be a large distance.
But again, I can nitpick usefully only because it's a really great map!