Being self-taught, I don't know much about professional design firms. I really admire the products that, say, CHK America produces, but their process is a mystery to me, and I wonder if I could fit in an environment of professional designers. As much as I would love to be a part of a company like that, I suspect it may be out of my reach for now.
Still though, I would genuinely love to offer my skills to the public transportation industry in some way. So while I may be unable to contribute to a large-scale effort for a big city, I wanted to see what it might take for a smaller one.
Small transit agencies don't often have the resources to produce polished materials, and that's a shame. Something as minor as a good map or timetable can do a great deal for making riding public transportation less intimidating, particularly in a small car-focused city.
So I picked a small town to give their Riders Guide an update--and for practice's sake it turned out to probably be the best city I could have picked.
My best friend is from a little town called Glace Bay in the northern tip of Nova Scotia in Canada. The area, along with several nearby cities, is served by Transit Cape Breton. Despite only having 10 routes, it is a deceptively complex system, with a mix of short urban routes and miles-long routes linking neighboring cities, alternate service patterns, and a zone-based fare structure.
Fully understanding these curious details took quite a fair bit of time, so it's my hope that my unofficial Riders Guide lays this information out more clearly and could perhaps be a more accessible tool for riders in Cape Breton. If there is interest, I can adapt these designs for official use, but at the least it was incredibly good practice, and a glimpse into how complicated of a job this really is, even for a small town.
To see more from this project, including the full pdf of the unofficial guide, visit the project page below.