Sunday, September 05, 2010

An updated 'Zen'

For a complex asset that cost so much to build, the information presented to passengers on the use of the City Loop is decidedly sketchy. As suggested here before, this may be because the City Loop is only regarded as a CBD distributor for suburban passengers (its original purpose) rather than also forming a transit system in its own right for inner-city trips.

The Metlink journey planner has revolutionised trip planning, but there remains no officially-produced printed or web publication telling people how the loop works. The only known exceptions are pamphlets issued to passengers on a particular line when alterations occur as part of a new timetable. Instead one needs to plough through timetables for each line to build a picture of how it works, something most passengers are unlikely to do.

For many years this gap was filled by the Zen and the City Loop website. It's existed for about as long as Melbourne public transport has been on the web and has legendary status amongst transport geeks.

Unfortunately, though still mostly correct, 'Zen' is showing its age, with content not reflecting changes in the last year or two.

For another purpose I started producing some Loop diagrams. Something about the Zen diagrams must have stuck in my mind since there is a signficant resemblance, despite not having looked at them for a year or more. Anyway for posterity these diagrams, based on the June 2010 timetable, are presented below.

Note that these diagrams reflect the June 2010 timetable and will change again after the 10 October 2010 timetable takes effect.


Somebody said...

I suppose one thing might be the lack of passenger information at loop stations for anybody making short trips.

As in if I turn up at Flagstaff, there is a bank of monitors showing the next train for all suburban lines, down to the detail of separate monitors for outer suburban branch lines, but no screens saying the next train to Flinders Street, or any posters saying "you cannot catch a direct train to FSS/SCS after 1pm" or any details about how the loop runs.

I suppose it's not a priority. Nice diagrams though.

Daniel said...

Good job Peter - I'd been toying with the idea of an update to the old diagrams.

The fact that you've had to exclude some stopping patterns from the Peak diagrams so that they remain readable is certainly an indicator that the Loop is a complex beast!

Craig said...

Hate to correct you, but there are no direct Werribee trains in the post-PM peak period...

Otherwise, a good attempt.

Somebody - not sure about Flagstaff, but I know there a monitor at Parliament that shows the next train to each city loop station, with a note at the bottom about the after 1pm weekdays factor.

Peter Parker said...

@Craig - now fixed!