Improve Metrobus maps online
At each Metrorail station, WMATA has great local area bus maps near the station entrances. The maps show where the buses go from the station, a zoomed-in version of the bus map showing downtown lines, the location of each bus stop in the area, and a table with estimated headways and hours of operation for each bus line that travels near the station.
Here's an excerpt from the large system map:
Here's the map of the bus stops local to Eastern Market:
Here's the table of hours of operation and frequencies:
And here's the central city map:
I asked WMATA whether the station-specific bus maps could be linked from each Metrorail station's information page. They're willing to do that, but are concerned that the information would not be very usable because the maps are very large PDFs with a lot of street detail layers. The Eastern Market PDFs is about 4 megabytes, and print out on a 4 foot by 5 foot poster.
Take a look at the PDF. What do you think should be displayed on the wmata.com page for the associated station? The whole map? Excerpts from the map? Just the table of headways and hours of operation?
The likely target audience for such a map online would be people that live near a Metrorail station, or who frequently travel to a Metrorail station, but are unfamiliar with the bus service in that area. It's possible that by having this information available online, we can turn a current rail rider to an occasional bus rider, too.
The other potential audience for these maps online would be tourists that are planning to stay near a Metrorail station, but it's less likely that tourists are adventurous enough to try the bus system. Usually they stick to rail.
Discuss in the comments whether you'd find this kind of map useful online. They're already available at Metrorail stations).
All images courtesy WMATA.
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