July 19, 2011

Annals of Transit – 4

An occasional update on items from the Transit City.




Sam Dal Monte, graduating from Emily Carr,  did a big project around “clarifying” transit in Vancouver.  Here’s a redesign of the bus-route map.

And SkyTrain:

Says Sam: “I conceived this project as a response to the often insufficient or confusing information design of Vancouver’s public transit service.  It also served as my homage to the information design of transit services in London, where I spent a year studying ….”




Jarrett Walker, as several commentators note, does a brilliant take-down of an architectural approach to transit design.

In only five minutes, Gensler Architects of Los Angeles makes all the common “visionary urbanism” mistakes in thinking about transit.  Why you need to recognize them …


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  1. It would be a major improvement if we could have any kind of map at bus stops. It’s hard enough just trying to work out which bus(es) stops there most of the time.

  2. Not keen on the distortion on the SkyTrain map – as it completely distorts the lines of latitude.
    It suggests:
    – that Holdom Station is along Hastings Street (or some northerly street)
    – that Metrotwon is at the same latitude as Marine Drive
    – that the Surrey stations are north of [the river? compared to Marine Drive]
    – that New Westminster is north of Metrotown and Royal Oak
    and the fork of the Canada Line suggests that the line travels farther east into Richmond than it actually does.

    1. Interesting insight there Ron. I guess I didn’t look at it as a map per se but more of a schematic diagram which doesn’t indicate direction in a geographic sense but focusses more on the connections of place within the network. For many train riders the relative geographic position is less important than the connectivity of the system. This is particularly the case with rail transit.

      Another thing to consider is the maps are already distorted to fit the space above the doors.

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