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The All-In-One Highway 101 Bus Service

The complicated and overlapping service on Highway 101 is enough to confuse anyone. A new diagram tries to simplify and standardize the mess into something usable.

Marin’s bus service is centered around Highway 101 and its “trunk” routes. From commuter lines to the basic San Francisco regional lines to the supplementary local routes, getting from one place to another on Highway 101 should be an easy task. Alas, it is not.

Not every bus pad is labeled on the freeway bus map with which buses stop where. Since not all buses stop at all bus pads, you don’t always know whether to take the bus or not. The first time I went by bus to the Lucas Valley pad on a Sunday morning, I tried to figure out which buses stopped there and would pick me up at the Transit Center. Not knowing that it was all printed in the front of my transit guide, I took the 49K and went on a long, 35-minute ride around Terra Linda. Had all the information been in front of me at once on a simple map, I would’ve known that the 70 and 80 would’ve taken me, no problem, but that I should avoid the 101.

The bus map here is a strip map, a simplified diagram showing all stops and which buses stop and which stop when. Though it’s a design that could be improved upon, the map does show all routes and all stops along the 101 corridor. Ideally, the map would be paired with a Highway 101 timetable showing all bus departures. It and the schedule would be posted at every bus pad and major transit hub on the corridor, allowing every passenger to know which bus goes where.

At 41 inches long but only 10 inches wide, it could also be posted inside buses that run along the 101 corridor, allowing passengers to look at it and internalize it while riding, like how subway cars have a map of the subway posted.

Since this is a rather complicated trunk line, be sure to post corrections and comments for me. How, too, could this design be improved upon? What might make this a less confusing or more useful diagram?

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John Parnell October 09, 2012 at 02:13 AM
David - It was very nice of you to do this for everyone. Now, you just need to get GGT to make it available to the riders (& make them pay you for your work while you're at it...or hire you). My only suggestion might be to perhaps split the chart down the middle, so it could be printed on a two-sided business card (cheapest printing). The subway-like placement in buses is a good idea, but it might be helpful to be able to fit in a wallet/purse. Actually, forget everything I just said, and build an app for that, man!
David Edmondson October 09, 2012 at 05:47 AM
Hah, thanks for the compliment! You're the third person to ask me for something printable, so I'll post something when that's finished. Apps are a bit out of my league, but a PDF of it should do for most smartphones: http://thegreatermarin.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/101-buses-weekday-final.pdf
David Edmondson November 10, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Alrighty, I told you I'd let you know and so now I am. The post is going up on my site on Tuesday, but the printable version of the map, complete with destination-to-destination timetable, is here: http://thegreatermarin.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/101-routes-pocket-2.pdf. Let me know if you have any questions, of course.
Reginald "Rex" Henderson November 10, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Taking the bus from Rohnert Park to San Francisco at a respectable time of day can take upwards of 2 hours. Coming home is even longer. CAn you help us with that?

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