Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Philly Bus Grid

This image shows the primary mass transit grid in the City of Philadelphia. Key: Blue = north-south, red = east-west, yellow = north-south parts, east-west parts, green = trolley network (as it is an integral part of the grid).

The map has been abstracted, so that bus routes are only one line, in order to retain some legibility. Source file here, to download as a KML and play with.

Some changes have also been made to the bus routes:
17 and 33 have been merged, as they are naturally the same route.
30 and 31 have also been merged, as it turned out they were a hot mess with really could only be resolved by merging them together.
The 7, 64, and a couple of others have had some particularly silly bumps straightened out (though with the level of abstraction, it's hard to tell).

With this working model of the grid, we can also see some issues to fix (with varying degrees of difficulty):
1. Concomitant with the model of splitting the 23, the 16 and 23's southern half can be merged, roughly from Germantown and Lehigh.
2. The 43 and (revised) 30 brush each other, but branch in opposite directions. Merging these two routes together, allowing the branched routes to be handled elsewhere on the grid, can further streamline operations (much like with the 17 and 33).
3. Juniata Park is lacking N-S grid connections; the 89 handles some of it, but not all, and violates the grid. What's really needed is for routes along Castor (an extension of the one to Rhawnhurst?), G, and probably ca. D, as well as a revamping of the 15 and 25 so that the former can better serve Port Richmond and the latter does not have several major turns in it.
4. Oft derided because of its low ridership, the 25 is, in fact, very important to the grid.
5. A N-S link is necessary in Grays Ferry (but the 64 bump is insufficient). Extending the 79 northward may help, especially if it can be to the 40th & Girard turnaround. Alternatively, the G can be revamped and a 30th-to-Oregon "L"-shaped route may be considered.
6. The 7 is unnecessarily duplicative, with the G along Oregon and the 48 north of Market. Shifting the 7 to 25th north of Market would greatly improve overall access.

What else can you see in the grid? Strengths? Weaknesses?

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