Saturday, May 17, 2008

Google Map Hacks for Mass Transit Lines

I'm a big fan of Mass Transit and also a big fan of Maps. When I was a little kid I used to look at maps for hours. I couldn't tell you why I am so fascinated with them, but they are just really interesting to look at. Not too long ago, Google launched the ability to create your own maps on Google Maps. I took advantage and started mapping transit lines so that you can see the true scale of the transit network in each city. It's amazing on some cities in Europe serve pretty much every neighborhood in their city while American cities are so far behind. As I make more I will post them. I started to put the stations on the map, but most cities already have that implemented by Google Maps so there is really no need.

American Cities
Atlanta - MARTA Rapid Transit
Cleveland - GCRTA Rapid
Dallas - DART Light Rail
Houston - Houston METRORail
Los Angeles - LA MetroRail
Portland - Portland MAX Light Rail

European Cities
Krakow - Krakow Tram System
Prague - Prague Metro, Trams and Esko Commuter Rail

It's amazing how large the systems in Europe are compared to American systems. A smaller city like Krakow has a vast Tram system and Prague which is a city over 1 million people has a rather small metro population but has a huge Commuter Rail System. I've also done a few Map Hacks to show what Portland and Los Angeles will look like once their current expansion plans are complete. Both cities have expansion plans that are much more vast then what I show but little details are known about them.

Future Expansions in the US
Los Angeles - LA MetroRail
Portland - MAX Light Rail

Los Angeles expansions include the Expo Line and the extension of the Gold Line. However, there is talk about extending the Purple Line to Beverly Hills, extending the Green Line to Anaheim and creating several new lines on the west side of the city.

Portland has plans for creating the Orange Line to Milwaukie, Purple Commuter Rail Line from Beaverton to Wilsonville and two new Streetcar extensions; one on the east side of the river and the other all the way down to Lake Oswego using existing tracks.

So there you have it for the time being. I am working on mapping out Budapest's Trams, Subways and HEVs and I think I will also map out Salt Lake City and a few other cities.

If you are interested in some of the more popular systems, has Washington DC, Philly, Chicago and Boston mapped out. OnNYTurf has a Subway map of the very impressive NY Subway System. Finally, check out the Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn system at


Jay Draiman said...

Mass transit expansion for greater Los Angeles - revisited

With the escalating cost of energy – it is time to re-visit expanding the transit system.
Put all politics aside and look at a short term goals and long term goals.

Expanding the mass transit system in the Los Angeles Metro Area is critical to the future vitality of its economy; it will save energy reduce pollution, save lives and increase health by reducing stress.

It is time to forgo ego and consider the good of the public.

A transit system utilizing cable car or light rail over the freeways or any other types of mass transit in the Los Angeles Metro area is a reasonable solution to decrease the congestion on the roads, save energy, reduce pollution, improve air quality, save money, save lives and improve our health.
Cost of energy and vehicles and maintenance has climbed dramatically in the past 10 years, warranting this issue to re-examine the expansion of mass transit in the Greater Los Angeles Area. The longer we wait, the greater the cost and the more imperative this project becomes.

In many areas of the country there are transit stations and parking lots, which provide parking for the transit customers.

The costs should not be astronomical. (Based on current energy costs, and future increases). There is no need to acquire large parcels of property; with some modification such system can be implemented and operational within the next decade.

Jay Draiman, Northridge, CA

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

This is great Pitch. It would be cool if you could add in the extensions for Houston and Dallas. You can find them here: