new york:a frequent network map

Tumblr_inline_mq8zieIEsm1qz4rgpJust found this map of all 10-minute frequency or better services in New York City, by this not readily identifiable character on Tumblr.  This looks like quite a struggle to make clear given the complex nomenclature that NYCTA uses.  

The whole thing is here.  An NYCTA contact tells me it’s still current except for a change around LaGuardia airport.

When I’m learning a new city — as I do 10 or 20 times a year as a consultant — this is what I need!


6 Responses to new york:a frequent network map

  1. Aldonius February 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Couple of things:
    – If you look at the bottom of the key (bottom left hand corner) you will find the text ‘© Henry Chin 2013’.
    – The tumblr (second) link is broken.
    Certainly an incredible piece of work!

  2. hU0N February 11, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    I’m curious, as someone who has never been to New York, how do you rate this network?
    At first look, it appears to be a good example of a well gridded frequent network, with high capacity infrastructure on the dominant routes within the grid (ie the subway lines). But everything I read about the MTA system talks about it as though it is the worst kind of radial system, where you’d be mad to take a journey to lower Manhattan any other way than by transit, but anywhere to anywhere journeys are almost impossible except by car.
    Do you think the network is actually good? And if so, why does it seem to have a reputation of not working for anywhere to anywhere journeys?

  3. Rolando February 11, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    I wonder how it counts frequency on corridors with multiple routes… Even if the two services using the same route run only every 20 minutes there’d still be 10 minute frequencies on the corridor.

  4. Henry February 11, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    I can’t believe I’m seeing this here. It’s been a long time since I’ve made that map, and I almost forgot about it…
    @hUON: The frequencies on the grid routes are very good, and if you’ve got time the buses work fine for intra-borough routes. However, the major issue with the system in New York is not that it’s infrequent, but that it’s slow. A trip from, say, Floral Park to Flushing, is 1 hour and ten minutes by bus, but 15 to 20 minutes by car on a good day. Inter-borough travel is even worse; it will usually be faster to take the train into Manhattan than it will be to take the bus between boroughs.
    The two bus operators in New York (NYCT and MTA Bus) have some of the lowest speeds in the nation, and are two of the only three agencies that have average bus speeds below 10MPH. This is mostly because in New York, the local streets are slow, and there’s not much you can do about it (the biggest transfer points are also the most congested areas).
    @Rolando: Routes in New York don’t actually share a main road most of the time (with the exception of Manhattan). Outside of Manhattan, the Bx40/42, Q20/44, Q25/34, and Q110/113 were all shown using dotted lines on their infrequent segments. Non-frequent routes sharing a trunk weren’t depicted on the Manhattan section of the map to increase legibility.

  5. ajedrez February 13, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    There are a few corridors on Staten Island that have service running every 10 minutes or better when you combine two lines (though they aren’t spaced out perfectly evenly). And the S53/S79 from SI to Bay Ridge run every 10 minutes or better for most of the day. (This is individually)

  6. Anon256 February 13, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Yeah, Staten Island is missing from this map, but it barely merits inclusion. I made mapping those segments with 10-minute midday frequencies. Notably neither the Staten Island Railway nor the ferry comes close to this standard (both are half-hourly at midday). Not even the S79 “Select Bus Service” is frequent on its own (with 15-minute midday headways), though for most of its route it shares with either the S59 or the S78 yielding frequent service at the shared stops.
    Staten Island seems ripe for a network redesign with more emphasis on frequent corridors, possibly at the expense of weekday-only coverage routes (e.g. the S42, S55 and S56). Unlike the rest of NYC, buses can actually manage respectable average speeds in Staten Island, so a well-designed network could be really useful.