vancouver publishes frequent network map

The Wayfinding team at Vancouver's TransLink has finally unveiled their new network map, with Frequent Network designations.  In this case … orange:

Vanc freq netk slice

Download the whole thing here: regional transit map

The term "FTN" (Frequent Transit Network) also appears on the map here and there.  This term has already been used for several years in TransLink policymaking.  In fact, four years ago in Transport 2040 TransLink committed to this goal:

The majority of jobs and housing in the region are located along the Frequent Transit Network (frequent, reliable services on designated corridors throughout the day, every day).

Now, finally, the public can see it too!  Disclosure: I had a review-and-comment role in a few stages of this process, but it's definitely TransLink's work, led by their excellent Wayfinding team.

6 Responses to vancouver publishes frequent network map

  1. David M May 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    The best Network Map so far. Love it. I like how you can tell the type of service to expect just at a glance. Very well done. Easy to read. FTN is well incorporated into the system map.
    I hope it sets a standard for other transit agencies to follow when producing network maps.

  2. Jeffrey Bridgman May 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Yay for drawing different bus lines on the same street as two different lines. This provides the following advantages:
    1. It’s easier to follow the various routes as they converge and diverge.
    2. It makes it clear which line on that street is part of the FTN.
    On the second point: if you only choose to show streets that have an overall ‘frequent’ network (e.g. two 30 minute interval routes combine to provide service every 15 minutes), it dilutes the effect of the FTN for the following reasons:
    1) If the routes aren’t staggered, it won’t really be frequent (if line 1 arrives at :01 and :31 and line two at :04 and :34, you don’t get the theoretical 15 minute frequency).
    2) The stretch shared in common by the two routes may be frequent, but outside of that, it doesn’t quality as frequent, so you may end up with isolated segments of high frequency that aren’t really useful.
    3) Different lines may operate at different frequencies and that information isn’t clearly shown (while the Translink map allows me to see exactly which route running by my location is frequent).
    So far I haven’t seen any maps make that mistake. Let’s hope none do.

  3. Alon Levy May 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    In Providence, they’re not making that supposed mistake, but should be. A numbered route that splits into branches is shown as frequent if the trunk is frequent, but several routes that share a street are not. This is bad if you’re trying to travel corridors that are set up with itnerlined routes to ahve frequent service, such as lower Charles Street and the bus tunnel.

  4. Morgan Wick May 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    I’m guessing Jeff has never travelled between Seattle’s University District and downtown, the main “route” of which is entirely composed of several less-frequent routes that are scheduled to combine for frequent service. King County Metro in general would never in a million years get away with publishing a frequent route map that didn’t make that “mistake”, if only because of the way some routes change number mid-route and the way the 5 branches.
    1) This is only a problem if you obsess too much about average frequency.
    2) You’d be surprised how often the shared segment actually is useful and actually does fit into the network. Do you have a specific example in mind?
    3) Again, this is only a problem if you only consider average frequency and not actual effective frequency. A 20-minute line that happens to run on the same street as a 60-minute line isn’t going to be marked as frequent.

  5. David M May 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    Jeff, I disagree. The Vancouver FSN includes routes as you describe – look at the 4 and 7 – only the combined portion is shown as FSN – when they split off they’re no longer FSN. I think it is fine so long as the transit agency doesn’t cheat. That is, the actual frequency is 15 min or better (not the average). In the case of Line 4 and Line 7 (both electric trolley buses), they generally run every 11-15 minutes each on weekdays and every 20 minutes each in the evening (so the FSN portion sees a bus every 6 to 8 minutes in the daytime, and every 10 minutes in the evening. Weekends are similar.
    In fact, for the 4 and 7, the only reason the entire lines are not FSN is due to the drop in service to 20 min headways after 7pm. But my point is, that it is valid to combine routes, especially if they do work together. The 4 and 7 have a long history of providing combined service between 4th and Dunbar along 4th Avenue and through downtown Vancouver and along Powell to Dundas at Nanaimo in the east.

  6. Joe Clark May 28, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    If the “wayfinding team” is so “excellent,” why are they using orange lines on green?

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