Last year, I got an inquiry from Russia’s fourth largest city, Yekaterinburg, about helping them rethink their transit system. An excellent local NGO called Gorod.pro put the project together, and after the usual struggles over visas and insurance, I’m off to Yekaterinburg next week to work with City and foundation staff on new options for network design. If you read Russian, you can follow along on the project page.
Yekaterinburg has several transit networks, which is not necessarily better than having one. There’s a metro, a tram network, a trolleybus network, a local bus network, and a range of small-bus products, and they mostly look like they’ve been designed separately, rather than working together. There’s an emphasis on low-frequency direct services rather than high-frequency connective services, so that’s a trade-off we’ll explore.
One key thing we did was to draw what may be the first map that shows all the transit services. You can find it in the report, but here’s a slice. The colors here mean frequency (red is 15 or better, green is 30 or better, green is 60 or better). The number symbols distinguish the technologies.
We think maybe this could be simpler.
And of course, when you have a lot of infrequent lines piled up on the same long segments, it means you could afford more frequent lines if you combined them.
But it’s all about trade-offs. I ask the questions but the locals answer them. We’re happy to see people downloading and reading our Choices Report, and I’m looking forward to great conversations (in simultaneous translation) over the next two weeks.