Bus Networks

Having lived in a dozen cities and traveled to around forty countries and visited hundreds of cities, I have some experience in getting around urban jungles and traveling between cities.

For the most part, I have used public transport, and whenever I have the option, I always choose to take the train or underground/subway instead of the bus. Why?

Because most bus networks are mentally confusing. Trains also tend to be more reliable (on average), and I can easily follow the train tracks on Google Maps, which gives me a peace of mind knowing where my train is heading.

But bus networks have their utility too, especially in cities like Adelaide which has a fairly poor suburban train network.

But only 9% of people use public transport here and I believe that statistic will automatically improve when people are less mentally confused.

So one project I am working on at the moment is to build a more logical bus network. One easy fix that could make a huge difference in people's mental confusion is to rename most of the bus routes (without actually changing the bus routes themselves).

How would that be done? By having the bus direction and/or destination encoded in the bus route number/letters.

For example, if I tell you take the bus 520, it gives you no clue to where the bus comes from or is going to. But if I instead call the bus H20 and that bus goes to Henley Beach, there is more logic.

Most people don't care where a bus comes from, but they do care:

  2. VIA WHERE, and
  3. TO WHAT DESTINATION a bus is going.

Knowing that, we have a few choices: for example, we could use the compass direction naming buses, W (West) or the destination H for Henley Beach:

  • W1/H1: Thebarton, Torrensville, Underdale, Kidman Park, Fulham Gardens, Henley Beach (via Ashwin Pde, Hartley Rd, Valletta Rd, Marlborough St).
  • W2/H2: Mile End, Lockleys, Fulham, Henley Beach (via Henley Beach Rd).
  • W3/H3: Hilton, Cowandilla, Brooklyn Park, Henley Beach (via Sir Donald Bradman Dr).


Cultural Events

Another area where most cities have room for improvement is in the mapping of cultural events.

And Adelaide, which is the capital city of South Australia, nicknamed the "Festival State", has an amazing cultural program that probably would attract even more people if the cultural events were better mapped... to avoid mental confusion.

Because when people are mentally confused, they buy less or don't buy at all.

The February-March festival program in Adelaide is the richest, but also the most confusing: there are at least a dozen festivals in this period at various places in the city, and even some in the suburbs.

Structured and clear thinking is one of Adelup's strengths, and we would love to help city councils present a less confusing cultural agenda.