Despite being central to Marin’s transit system, neither GGT nor its partner Marin Transit have posted a comprehensive map of the Highway 101 trunk line and its extensive bus pad system. About seven months ago, I decided it was time to make one of these.
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 study it while riding, like how subway cars have a map of the subway posted.
Other versions are possible. Posting it in vertical format be useful for bus stops in San Francisco, where GGT often just has a pole with a flag. Posting it inverted, with San Francisco on top, would be useful for northbound riders. Once the BRT systems on Van Ness and Geary are complete, it may make sense to split out the three routes through San Francisco. While it would make the map even longer, it would emphasize how integral San Francisco is to the system.
I’ve also produced a version that’s printable on standard paper and comes with the 101 timetable, which will be most useful for the causal rider. Given that I only have about 20 vertical inches to work with, it’s highly condensed and so less legible.
Maps like this are vital to understanding strong bus corridors. Because they don’t have tracks, bus systems are more prone to becoming hidden infrastructure. It will take good map makers and designers to lift the veil and empower people to use the system they subsidize.
Both these and other maps are posted in the Map Room at The Greater Marin.