So. Many. Trains. Peter Dovak

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.

Salt Lake City Transit Vehicles (Peter Dovak)

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.

New York City’s unconventional mass transit vehicles (Peter Dovak)

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.

(Peter Dovak)

(Peter Dovak)

(Peter Dovak)

(Peter Dovak)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

  2. An apartment building with a sign reading "free rent."
    Equity

    If Rent Were Affordable, the Average Household Would Save $6,200 a Year

    A new analysis points to the benefits of ending the severe affordability crisis.

  3. A LimeBike is pictured next to a Capital Bikeshare dock.
    Transportation

    Bike Share, Unplanned

    Three private bike-share companies are determined to shake up the streets of D.C. But what, exactly, are they trying to disrupt?

  4. Transportation

    Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

    In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.

  5. A Juggalo standing in front of Buffalo City Hall.
    Equity

    The Juggalo March Is Not a Joke

    Facepainted fans of the Insane Clown Posse are gathering on the National Mall this weekend. And they have something important to say.