Two years ago I somewhat naively asked on the wiki whether ÖPNVKarte couldn’t perhaps render the interval key somehow. I don’t think it would have to be as nicely designed as Transportparadise’s Oxford Bus Map, which even separates bus routes that share the same way. In my opinion, it would be sufficient to have the different patterns per way travelled (i.e. if two or more lines share the same way the pattern for the most frequent interval could be shown, or, more ambitiously, the intervals added up) for the map to give an overview of where public transport can take you more or less reliably. Unfortunately, I have lacked knowledge, experience and patience to use Maperitive and/or Overpass to try out how this could be put into practice and soon forgot about it.
The reason I came to think of this again was a holiday in Colmar, Alsace, France. To an outsider, the intervals of the city buses there are completely nuts, see for example this timetable pdf. But generalizing “37-48-41-51-44-etc.” into interval=45 would seem acceptable to me and a less fundamental question than how to discriminate between workdays and weekend. I am reflecting on this from a rural setting, where there might be no buses at all on Sundays.
Anyway, to a tourist, Colmar’s and Alsace’s public transport system is grand, amply subsidized and only partly affected by the typical downward spiral.
For our first hiking tour, we started from Wettolsheim Marbach through the vineyards first to the Les Trois Chateaux ruins and then on to the reconstructed Hohlandsbourg before heading back to the bus at Wintzenheim. The bus to Wettolsheim in the morning was in fact an on-demand service, a taxi ordered via the Flexitrace app and included in the normal fare: 1.50€ for a single trip, 11€ for 10 rides or 7€ for unlimited travel in 72 hours within Colmar and suburbs.
Our next trip, an easy half-day hike, took us from Trois Epis to the spectacular view from Hohnack and back to the Walbach bus stop. This route was partly dictated by the timetable because Trois-Epis is only served by a coach that runs three times a day, first at noon, via the scenic village of Niedermohrschwir and again for the cheap Colmar fare.
Similary committed to improving public transport as Colmar City is the whole Haute Rhine region, where Fluo offers any trip for 4€. We got there by long-distance train to Freiburg. The railway connection from Freiburg to Colmar was destroyed in the second world war. German and French initiatives and authorities are working at reactivating it. Now we had to take the S-Bahn to Breisach and then an infrequent and slow coach that serves all the villages to Colmar. This part of our holiday left most room for improvement: it meant that we had to leave at 8.45 to safely catch our train from Freiburg, a mere 50kms away, at 12.55
Well, that was it. Now I am going to enter some benches into the map ;-)