Dar es Salaam Transit Diagram

Schematic map of daladala routes in Dar es Salaam

Schematic map of daladala routes in Dar es Salaam (click to enlarge)

There are approximately 250 different daladala routes crossing Dar es Salaam, and depicting all of them on a schematic map is a challenge.  Routes and vehicles are color coded according to the major arterial streets over which they travel.  There are only seven such streets, and I used the corresponding seven colors in the diagram.  Different combinations of these arterials, as well as different origins and destinations along them, account for the hundreds of different routes. A high quality pdf version is available here.

Mapa de los Diablos Rojos | Panama City Transit Map

Schematic map of Panama City's bus lines

Schematic map of Panama City's bus lines

Here is the next installment in the series of schematic maps I’ve made based on my travels. Panama City’s bus routes are difficult to map for a number of reasons.

First, the city’s layout is not conducive to a diagram based on 45-degree lines. Two geographical constraints, the Canal Zone (in which no development is allowed to protect the watershed that feeds the canal’s locks) and the Bay of Panama, form a 30-degree angle with its vertex in the southwestern historical core of Casco Antiguo. An urbanist study found that the city’s ongoing development follows this 30-degree template, even though the newest settlements are beyond the constraints of Canal Zone’s boundaries. I decided to embrace this 30-degree angle, fundamental to the city’s form, and base my map on the old Stuttgart transit diagram (See the scanned image from the Brian Purcell collectionhere. While such a purely isometric approach was infeasible for my diagram, I was able to achieve it in some areas (such as around the Terminal).

There are only five main bus corridors in the city: The Northern Corridor, Ricardo Alfaro Avenue, Simón Bolívar Avenue, Vía España, and Balboa Avenue. But in the outskirts of the city (and to some extent, around the Terminal), these trunk lines branch out into many different lines. Further complicating things are the various one-way streets and express/direct routing variations. I tried to show these clearly with arrows and black borders, respectively, but things got a little hectic around the Terminal.

Deciding which stops to show was also a question. My previous diagrams were of the countries of Belize and Nicaragua; cities were easy to mark as stops. The Diabjos Rojos, however, stop at nearly any corner when requested, so showing all of the stops was not possible. I decided instead to include the final stops of different routes, as well as the malls and shopping centers that the pavos (turkeys, as the bus conductors are called) tend to shout out when calling passengers.

Nicaragua Transit Diagram

Nicaragua Transit Diagram

Nicaragua Transit Diagram

In comparison to the one I made for Belize, the transit diagram I made for Nicaragua is not based as heavily on the iconic London Underground diagram. I am being more careful about using the word diagram instead of map, since in these images I aimed for representational clarity rather than geographical accuracy. I have been working on this diagram over the course of two months; a number of features made it more of a challenge to create than my first.  Including both English and Spanish introduced both translation and layout concerns.  I tried to make the diagram colorblind accessible by coding routes with two-letter service designations.  This coding scheme served additionally to indicate that certain cities were the final stop for at least some of the buses running along a given route.  I also included an inset to show local bus routes connecting Managua’s main terminals.

Download a high quality PDF here.

The image below shows the routes I traveled during my time in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua Transit Diagram with the routes I traveled shown as dashed lines

Nicaragua Transit Diagram with the routes I traveled shown as dashed lines

Transmetro – BRT in Guatemala City


View Transmetro in a larger map

The week I arrived in Guatemala City, the municipality initiated service on the new Corredor Central (shown in green in the map above) of its Transmetro bus rapid transit (BRT) system. The city’s first line, Transmetro Sur (shown above in orange), opened in 2007 and was also the first BRT line in Central America. The municipality is continuing to expand on these two existing lines, with hopes of eventually replacing the old red school buses on many of the city’s most crowded routes.

Unlike many of the so-called BRT systems in the United States, the Transmetro has many characteristics of high quality transit, including prepaid fares, multiple boarding doors, level platform loading at enclosed stations, and well-enforced exclusive right of way (for most stretches). I’m not sure if traffic signal prioritization has been implemented, but at some intersections along the routes, officers directing traffic essentially served as signal preemption. The first line uses 160-passenger Busscar Urbanuss Plus articulated buses on Ciferal and Volvo chassis, while the new Corredor Central uses 119-passenger Busscar Urbanuss models on Scania chassis. Having police officers at each station and on each bus greatly improves boarding efficiency and security over the old red buses. The Transmetro Sur even has a mix of local and express services. In short, for the same fare as the old red school buses (about 12¢), the Transmetro is a much safer and more pleasant transportation experience.

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Belize Transportation Map – Subway Style

Belize Transit Map

Belize Transit Map

It took me a while, but I finally finished this map based on my travels in Belize. I tried to represent the majority of the country’s important bus and ferry routes in a transit-style map using the freeware program Inkscape. I had a fun time using the London Underground map as a guide, while making a number of changes (such as variable line widths to reflect varying service levels and larger diameter circles to represent transfer terminals). Download a high-quality PDF of the map here.

If you’re interested in similar transit-style maps (done much more professionally), check out these maps of Amtrak and the Interstate Highway System.

The Belize Bus Guide has helpful schedule and route information.

The map below shows the routes I traveled in Belize, covering the length of all four major highways (Northern, Western, Southern, and Hummingbird). For a map of the local routes I rode within Belize City, click here.

Belize Transit Map

Belize Transit Map (my travels shown in yellow)