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 It’s bulky to navigate, the schedules are hard to read, and advisories are sometimes out-of-date.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.

2 Comments so far

  1. jendubin on April 11th, 2008 @ 10:39 am

    hm. it could be hands if it told you which route was which. if you map out multiple routes it doesn’t label them!

  2. Andrea Piernock (andreapiernock) on April 11th, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

    I know, I have found some flaws like that. I selected a few intersecting routes, and noticed they weren’t labeled! If you click on the route, the label pops up, but it would be nice if there were some sort of legend. On the maps I was working on, I color-coded the RR lines.

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