While working at CHK, I was asked to come up with a family information products for GRTC, the principle transit company providing service in greater Richmond, VA area. The initial pilot called for the creation of signs that could be used across the region. One of the tasks in particular was to redesign an existing transit map that was failing to meet the needs of transit riders.
The result of this effort is a more comprehensive map that puts service frequency at its core. Here thicker lines indicate more robust bus service, while thinner routes show less frequent service. Another notable feature is that geographical accuracy has been dropped in favor of improved legibility and ease of use. This topological approach allows to see the entire system at a glance while revealing potential transfer opportunities that were unavailable with a more traditional, geographic approach.
The capital funds needed for the systemwide implementation were secured thanks to the successful pilot program, which received positive feedback from transit users. The project is now being rolled across the entire system.
The pilot project included system and local maps posted alongside detailed bus schedules.
Redesigned topological map.
While most maps depict the geographic spread of service, frequent network maps focus on the frequency — or quality — of service which is far more helpful in the trip planning process.
Frequent, all-day service is clearly highlighted, making it easier to pinpoint what areas have reliable service, something that instills a peace of mind during a journey planning process.
This map also tends to reveal gaps in service or "mobility deserts".
Some downtown networks can get very complex.
In addition to system overview maps, a second set of maps provides more detail.
These detailed maps follow the same graphic conventions as the system map and show detailed service overview from any given location.
The successful pilot project led to a systemwide rollout of the wayfinding signs.