Friday, April 12, 2019

Are you near frequent service? Melbourne's new online frequent network map

Public transport goes to a lot of places in Melbourne. But where is the really useful service? That is the routes and corridors with wide operating hours and good frequency.

Speaking roughly, trams are more frequent than trains. Trains tend to be better than buses. But not always.  Parts of some metropolitan lines have trains only every 40 minutes.  Rail infrastructure usually assures wide operating hours but not necessarily the frequency needed for convenient travel.  And there are some very frequent bus routes and corridors. 

This interactive frequency map can help.  It shows only the most frequent, and thus useful, parts of the network.  Show or hide train, tram and bus.  Choose between 10, 15 or 20 minute frequency thresholds on each mode (menu in top left of map below).  Or use the 40 minute layer for the whole suburban train network.  It’s not my first attempt at frequent network mapping but I think this is better and more useful. 

Or open the Melbourne frequent public transport network map here (new window)

Frequencies shown are daytime maximum waiting times between approximately 7am and 7pm. Many routes have higher frequencies during peak times. Although that isn't always the case and I had to make minor allowances. For example I kept Altona and Williamstown trains on the 20 minute map even though they operate every 22 minutes. In contrast counter-peak trains between Greensborough and Eltham have 40 minute gaps. So I left Montmorency and Eltham off the 20 minute map even though it features that frequency interpeak.  

Click on a line to get finish times, weekend frequencies, related routes and other information. Future maps will show weekend and evening frequencies.  

This map is easiest to use on a desktop computer. But you can also use it on a mobile device. Poke around for a menu so that you can select which lines and frequencies you wish to appear.  Use it with Google maps transit data so you can zoom in on a frequent line and obtain arrival information on the next service along it. The video above runs you through it. Change the base map for a different view - that's underneath where you select what frequencies and modes to show.  

That’s it for today. I could write more. But I know you’d rather explore the map than read. I'll discuss frequency’s geography, history and politics later. For now though, please let me know your thoughts on the map in the comments section below.

PS: Frequent network maps for all seven days are now available here

You might enjoy these well-regarded books on transport topics

Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit Steven Higashide NEW!

The Public City: Essays in honour of Paul Mees Gleeson & Beza

A Political Economy of Access: Infrastructure, Networks, Cities, Institutions (Access Quintet Book 4) David Levinson

Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich Our Communities and Our Lives Jarrett Walker

Transport for Suburbia: Beyond the Automobile Age Paul Mees

(Sales links: I get a small commission if you buy via the above - no extra cost to you)

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