UPDATE: Dan M., who commented below, has updated the ABQ Ride system map which addresses many of my concerns. I give my full thoughts at the bottom of the post.
Human Transit recently did a fantastic post making the case for frequency mapping. If you're not familiar with the concept of frequency mapping, it involves highlighting the frequent routes of your transit system on the map of the transit system. It's a great post, with plenty of graphics and some great writing.
So after reading it and seeing the directions for creating a frequency map, I thought I'd give it a shot. So here's my frequency map for ABQ Ride.
I used three categories for the routes - highly frequent routes which don't require consulting a schedule to use - the Rapid Rides and the #66. Then there's the all-day routes in green, which vary in frequency from 25 minutes (#5 and #11) to once an hour (#97 and #36), but all are similar in that you need to consult a schedule to use them, or you're likely in for a long wait. And then there are the orange dotted routes, which are the ones that run mainly during rush hour.
While I wouldn't want ABQ Ride to adopt this exact map (the labeling is a bit wonky), something like it would be nice - it really shows where the good routes are, which is the whole point of frequency mapping.
So, ABQ Ride has released a new system map, which can be viewed here.
Firstly, let me say that this map is a HUGE improvement over the last one. It conveys information much better than the previous one, thanks to the fact that it marks the routes much more clearly, the legend is simpler, and the color scheme makes it easier to follow a line. I also like the different shapes used to mark different kinds of routes. The use of the gray for the roads is also nice; much better than that black which mucked it up on the old map.
There are a couple of minor things that I would have done differently with the map. The first thing is that I would have made the 66 line thicker, to reflect its frequency. However, the fact that the 66 line is black on the new map mostly makes up for it.
The other is that I'm not sure why ABQ Ride insists on referring to the 151, 222, and 350 lines as local/all-day routes, given they run almost entirely during the rush hour. I wouldn't be giving them the same status as other local/all-day routes. It's a minor concern of mine, but it would be more reflective of its frequency.