Planning Public Transit Connections

In Bangalore I never planned for public transit. I could go from anywhere to anywhere hopping like a monkey from one bus to another, at major junctions like Majestic or Corporation. The buses flowed like a highly available and redundant packet switching network.

Here in bay area, public transport while mostly punctual, is infrequent. You need to plan the connections in advance to avoid having to wait unnecessarily (at often desolate stops and stations). For what ever its worth, I wrote a small PERL script (sched2svg.pl) that takes a schedule with each line containing the format hh:mm hh:mm, first time is the time at source and second is the time at destination. The script chunks out a SVG diagram with Y axis as time. For each span of travel, generate the SVG file. Then open the connections in a SVG editor like sodipodi or inkscape and paste the different spans of the journey, next to each other. Print the planner and keep it in your pocket

Comments:

Oh btw, I came to office today by a Volvo bus - fully airconditioned, limited capacity, no swaying crowds, tickets printed through a hand held device, and some nice FM stations played for you. :-) It comes at a cost though - I paid 18Rs for 4 KMs. But i'd never want to drive if such a bus plied regularly around my route. Currently, they only ply along high-volume routes . But it's surely a good start.

Posted by Bharath R on April 09, 2006 at 05:38 PM PDT #

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