The good news is that the United States and Canada are replete with examples of good bus network redesigns. These redesigns are not game-changers the way the construction of Metrorail was, but they can accommodate more ridership with the same resources. In Seattle, the opening of a light rail extension last year led to a bus network redesign in the affected area, in which buses were reconfigured to serve the new stations. In Houston, a from-scratch redesign seems to have resulted in steady ridership in 2016, avoiding the declines seen by most other American bus agencies.DC can join the ranks of cities that have strengthened their bus systems to more effectively and efficiently serve their residents by following industry best practices, such as making schedules easier for passengers to follow and changing how routes run through downtown, among other changes.
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But this pattern breaks down at rush hour, even though WMATA can run twice as much service at the half points (e.g., at :06, :26, and :46) on the 52. A predictable schedule is also absent from other workhorse bus routes in DC, such as the S2 and S4 on 16th, which instead come in 16-minute intervals in off-peak times. Image by the author.
3. Give the buses clearer route numbersGood bus service is not just about technical decisions but also clarity in communicating the system to the passenger. All modern bus systems have inherited complex routes, legacy of when they were first established in the early 20th century. Over the decades, they have expanded haphazardly based on local changes, such as new development, or traffic changes that converted two-way streets to one-way. The resulting layout sometimes works and sometimes does not.
In some gridded cities with numbered streets, buses are numbered after the streets they run on. Thus, in Manhattan, the crosstown bus routes carry the number of the street they follow, such as 14th, 34th, or 42nd Street. Regardless of whether WMATA chooses to straighten the bus routes, it could streamline the bus nomenclature, to avoid the confusing coming from the lettered and numbered buses in the District; the new system should have a single route running down 14th, numbered 14, and another single route running down 16th, numbered 16.
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of different design methods of bus route maps and dynamic real-time information on the bus route map search efficiency and cognitive load. A total of 32 participants were tested through an experiment of destination bus route searching, and the NASA-TLX scale was used to measure their cognitive load. Two route map schemes were designed according to the research purposes and application status. One was a collinear bus route map with geographic location information based on a realistic map, the other was a highly symmetric straight-line collinear bus route map without map information, and two different types of dynamic real-time information reminder methods were designed (the dynamic flashing of the number of the bus entering the stop, and the dynamic animated flash of the route of the bus entering the stop). Then, four different combinations of the bus route maps were used for testing through the search task of bus routes available for bus destinations. The results indicated no significant difference in the search efficiency between the map-based bus route map and the linear bus route map, but the cognitive load of the map-based bus route map was higher than that of the linear route map. In the presentation of dynamic real-time information, neither the search performance nor the cognitive load of the dynamic flashing of the route of the bus entering the stop was as good as those of the flashing of the number only of the bus entering the stop. In addition, it was found that, compared with men, the cognitive load for women was more affected by geographic information. The optimization strategies of the bus route map information design were proposed by the comprehensive consideration of the feedback of route maps and real-time information.Keywords: bus route map; visual search; cognitive load 076b4e4f54