Check out these meticulously detailed infographics of every public transportation mode in 24 major cities.
Peter Dovak really loves public transportation. So much so that in April of last year, the freelance illustrator in Washington, D.C., decided to create a meticulously detailed infographic depicting every kind of bus used by the D.C. transit system.
In an accompanying blog entry, he described this project as “the nerdiest post ever”—but this was only the beginning. “When I finished, I was curious about doing the same for my favorite city, Toronto. Then, like most of my projects, it just kept expanding from there,” he tells CityLab via email.
Twenty-four cities and a dozen or so vehicle types later, Dovak’s magisterial project, “City Transit,” is ready for its close up.
There are a number of ways to consume Dovak’s infographics. You can view each city’s transit vehicles laid out end to front in little rows, or categorized by type. If digital images don’t satisfy your transit mania, you can purchase print posters and novelty mugs of your favorite city’s transportation mix.
The rest of “Transit Oriented,” Dovak’s graphic design website, is also worth a gander. There you’ll find a treasure trove of airplane illustrations, transit maps, and logo designs with the same attention to detail.
The most striking thing about the transit vehicle infographics is the sheer variety of vehicle types, including ferries, driverless airport connectors, and several quirky local transit technologies, like Portland’s Aerial Tram, New York City’s Roosevelt Island Tramway, and Los Angeles’ Angel’s Flight, the adorably short funicular featured in La La Land (which will to reopen to the public after Labor Day).
Sadly, Pittsburgh, the funicular capital of North America, is still waiting on its infographic.
Dovak was also careful to include of all the iterations of each vehicle still in operation. Many rail systems currently have multiple generations of trains chugging along. For example, Toronto’s streetcar system and New York City’s subway system each employ four different types of vehicles, spanning many decades in age.
Dovak produced these images on Adobe Illustrator, basing his work mostly on photographs of transit vehicles. In order to avoid copyright issues, complete logos do not appear on the designs, though he was careful to reproduce (and update) the livery of each city’s fleet. A few transit operators have taken notice and tweeted their city’s infographic, and Dovak hopes his project will continue to garner attention from transit professionals. “It is a dream of mine to transition to a job where I could use these passions to serve the transit industry directly,” he says.
While expressing his unabashed love of transit was the primary motivation for this project, Dovak acknowledges another agenda, too: making a case for unifying disconnected systems. “Some folks in some cities see it showing there being too many operators,” he says. “It highlights the need for places like the Bay Area to unify their operators, or at least make it easier to pay/transfer between systems.” Indeed, calls for more unified regional transit networks that allow users to hop between modes more easily have grown louder in recent years from groups like SPUR, the Bay Area urban planning think tank.
Here’s a gallery of transit fleets from several cities.