Aris Venetekidis tried to draw a diagram of all the infrequent, overlapping, marginally useful transit services in Dublin:
Eric Jaffe has the story. Venetikidis uses mapping to discover chaotic network design, and propose simplifications. My work, too, often begins with drawing a network map for a transit agency client, helping them see their service in a different way.
Aris’ map of Dublin City Centre is a fantasticly beautiful map.
Well done Aris.
I always say if it’s too complicated to show on a map, it’s too complicated.
so this is a real transit system?
I had a stopover of half a day at Dublin airport. So I took a city bus into town (not one of the expensive, dedicated well signed airport buses but a regular bus from behind the parking garage for a fifth of the price – had I not asked I would never have found it).
So far so good.
Got off in the center (next to the Obelisk and the river) and wanted to check where and when I could catch the bus to return to the airport in time for my connecting flight by the same kind of regular fare city bus.
Obviously it didn’t leave from the opposite side of the street I just arrived on because my bus stop wasn’t there. No map of the area where which bus leaves from.
Found myself in front of the bus company’s office, asked for directions, was given a street name but no map of the area where that was supposed to be.
Not even somewhere in this office fixed to a wall or something.
After half an hour of searching I found the correct bus stop in a side street about 10 minutes walk from where I had arrived.
Asking people didn’t really help locate the correct stop because they all only knew their bus number and where their bus was leaving from, but not where any bus to any other destination left from (or if it indeed existed).
To add insult to injury, the word “airport” was written on the timetable only in Irish (not in English) in 8 point font somewhere between about two dozen other destinations. Of course, none of the people I asked spoke Irish so no one could really tell me if this word really meant “airport” in Irish but I was confident enough it did, which turned out to be true.
Before Dublin I was in Vilnius (Latvia). Even though I speak no word of Latvian, navigating their bus system was a breeze – they had lots of easily understandable maps, frequent service, maps of the area (i.e. bus number 25 leaves from over there) – I had the impression that Dublin, unlike Vilnius, didn’t want me to use a bus at all.
Luckily they had hire bikes modeled on the Vélib /Bixie system so at least I coud get around town easily…
Vilnius is in Lithuania, not Latvia, and they speak Lithuanian, not Latvian. Other than that, your comment makes a very good point. If transit agencies want people to try their services, they need to make them customer friendly, which Dublin clearly does not do.