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Frequent Mapping

Frequent Mapping  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Should CTA make a new map based on frequency of service

    • Yes
    • No
    • Make another type of map

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Lots of transit agencies lately have been created new maps based on frequency of service. Others have taken their own artistic talent to create their own versions. This is what it should be like if CTA made their own frequent service map.

Ideas (For these purposes, 146/147 are classified as "Key"):

->Key Regular Routes ( No more than 10-20 min. wait when running, 3/4/9/79, etc) : Thick Red Lines

->Key Express Routes (No more than 10-20 min. wait service when running, 146/147): Thick Gray Lines

->Support Regular Routes ( No more than 20-40 min. wait service when running, 43/59, etc): Thin Red Lines

->Support Express Routes (No more than 20-40 min. wait service when running 134/143, etc): Thin Gray Lines

->Contracted/Special/Peak Only Services (Any service, 1/2/10/120/124/X98, etc): Thin Green Lines

->Night Services (2a-4a service, N4/N151, etc): Thick/Thin (depending on route) Light Blue Lines

->Jump Services (BRT, J14): Thick Blue Lines

->Trains: Possible idea is to make lines jet-black and have the station circles colored based on what line serves that station

Downtown map would become slightly less detailed (i.e., Streets no longer shown each specific direction, such as Michigan and State and would conform with the rest of the map.



Examples (Some are 3rd Party produced and aren't officially recognized):





http://www.cincymap.org/files/Cincinnati_Transit_Map.pdf 2nd closest idea, i think.



http://www.rideuta.com/uploads/Dec2012SaltLakeSystemMap.pdf (Best one, and closest to my example)





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There are a lot of issues with allowing for a system map like the ones you've brought up.

As a traveller and a transit enthusiast, it is important to have a map that caters to informing and directing both tourists and regular riders alike. The issue with Chicago is that we work with a grid system where service is roughly dependent on the route; and using multiple colors to designate said frequencies are incredibly difficult to understand (especially if systems like WMATA and Metro Transit Twin Cities have branch routes). At the same time, it's difficult to really determine what routes are key, circulator, and support routes.

At the same time, this is the issue with Pace, where most services don't follow a "frequent" level of service. If you implement this into the entire RTA regional map, it gets very frustrating to determine the difference. You have to determine (or in some cases, redefine) what actually constitutes a "core" route. This requires a comprehensive analysis of your routes, as well as establishing service guidelines. VTA (in Santa Clara), AC Transit, Denver RTD, and Seattle do a great job in doing this.

Both the CTA and RTA maps have changed and evolved for the last 20 years; and the last few map updates are more readable than the ones from the 90's. I'd rather not have a map that complicates frequency, but instead offer a table of frequency similar to MTA's.

tl;dr - I want to see Pace and CTA follow the examples of the agencies out west define guidelines before we move to applying those rules visually.

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  1. Both CTA and Pace publish timetables, so one can figure out, for instance, that 85A is not a key route.
  2. When the Boos-Allen report was issued, using such terminology, pretty much what was designated the key or core routes were the ones that got owl service.
  3. I don't know how many people use print maps compared to the web versions, but the web versions load too slowly and require too much scrolling as it is. My guess would be that someone pretty unfamiliar with the system would use Google Transit or various other tools on the webstie, such as BusTracker (including the tracker signs on bus shelters) or the schedule brochures. The totally clueless just call the RTA information line and get wrong itineraries.
  4. Less detailed downtown route would not work, as people need to know, for instance, what's the difference between the numerous routes that enter downtown on Michigan and leave on State.
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Simply put, for all the faults we can find with the local transit service boards here in the Chicago area, the current form or their available service maps isn't one of them. And you know what they say if it's not broken, why try to change it? As noted the changing of the downtown area portions of the maps to show less details would not work. In addition to the points made, with most of Chicago's downtown streets being one way, it's actually of benefit for the downtown area maps having the level of detail they do getting to MetroShadow's point of balancing the maps' ease of being read and understood by both local riders and tourists. Also CTA has most of its service averaging the 10 to 15 minutes or less headways that qualify as falling under the frequent moniker as defined by those other systems. So I'm not really seeing there being a need to make that distinction on the service. Those systems, especially those that service medium to larger size cities, tend to have a large amount of service that averages 30 to 60 minute headways, and that's why you have their maps making that distinction. And it should also be pointed out that the transit systems in some cities like New York, Los Angeles and Seattle are actually county (in the case of Los Angeles and Seattle) or regional (in the case of NYC) transit systems compared to CTA primarily being a city system in terms of areal service coverage and type of transportation vehicles used. It's easy to look at another city's transit system and say "Oh they're doing this and that and it seems to work nicely for them. So wouldn't it be good if they did the same or something similar here?" But you still have to keep in mind that system is ultimately doing what fits the character and identity of the city/region that that transit system serves and may not fit Chicago just because it works for that city.

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To respond briefly to jajuan's point, it would be an improvement if the RTA put out a map that was accurate (usually it is not) and showed the connections between systems better.

Obviously, any Pace map would be in the 30-60 minute range, except for what they characterize as CTA connectors or Metra feeders.

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The other issue with the RTA maps is that they rarely coincide with the Service Changes (the turnaround from pick change to map distribution should reflect such).

For example, If you have a service change out of North, then have (larger, more critical) changes in Elgin and Heritage two months later, it'd be wise to hold off on printing until the needed changes are made.

The exception being is the Red Line Redo. That required a reprint before and after.

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To respond briefly to jajuan's point, it would be an improvement if the RTA put out a map that was accurate (usually it is not) and showed the connections between systems better.

Obviously, any Pace map would be in the 30-60 minute range, except for what they characterize as CTA connectors or Metra feeders.

Well I was making a point more about CTA and the fact that TAs in quite a number of other large cities seem to be all one system for the whole region that city sits in compared to the relative convoluted mess of 4 boards to cover transit in this region as a whole which we know the politicians of both major parties aren't going to fix any time soon as evidenced by the recent RTA "reform" attempt proving to be a waste of time as was pretty much known from the start. :)

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