Posts Tagged ‘public transit’

Easy-to-use SEPTA

Broad and Walnut

Have you seen the new SEPTA signs? I noticed this a few weeks ago; the signs in the photo here are located at Broad and Walnut Streets (the first one I spotted) but there are also posted at 13th & Market, 15th & Market, 18th & JFK, 19th & Market, and 15th & Locust.

The first thing I thought when I saw the sign was “T? Like in Boston?” but the lines of the T do look a bit like rail lines, so I guess it’s an interesting design choice.

What I like more than the huge posts are the signs on the stairwells, explaining the lines and connections that can be made at the station, and the exit orientation signs, giving directions and street intersections. Have you ever come up from the subway feeling disoriented? Well, maybe not if you’ve been riding for years, but occasional riders and tourists probably don’t know which is the northeast corner of Broad and Walnut just standing around in the concourse.

If you’ve seen the signs and have any comments about them, there is a survey for SEPTA and PATCO users to submit.

Do you think these signs will be useful? What would you do differently, or do you think the city’s had a good idea with these?

Wanna know where the buses run?

Most people that commute on SEPTA—even if they like the service, even if they defend SEPTA every step of the way—know that its website is a joke. It’s bulky to navigate, the schedules are hard to read, and advisories are sometimes out-of-date. Oh and forget about maps!

Many other transit agencies have been sending their information to Google to participate in the Google Transit site, but SEPTA is not one of them. Also, while other transit websites are upgrading their online experiences swith interactive maps (like the MBTA in Boston, oh what a website!), we get stuck with the Trip Planner. Seriously, have you ever tried to use that thing?

Based on the awesomeness that is the NYC Subways Map, for the past year or so I’ve been working on my own version of a SEPTA transit map between my full-time and freelance jobs; however, it’s mostly been just a programming lesson in using the Google maps API with PHP and Javascript. I’ve got the BSL, MFL, and the Patco Speedline, but I haven’t even finished all the regional rail routes yet!

But the other day I ran across PhillyMap.com’s Transit Maps! Not only does it have everything I’ve been working on, it also has bus routes. Yes, bus routes. All bus routes. On a Google map.

It’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a while. I almost cried.

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