NixillUmbreon's diary

Recent diary entries

MTA bus stops

Posted by NixillUmbreon on 24 May 2018 in English (English)

Followers of my profile (all 2 of you) may have just noticed an edit go live about 600 miles away from where I normally edit. This isn't armchair mapping; I went over to Manchester to see my long-distance boyfriend but knew in advance that he didn't have the week off so I brought the maps along to occupy myself during his shifts.

I managed to ride all fifteen of MTA's routes in three days; fourteen of these being while he was working and one while he was asleep.

MTA is different from SMART in a few ways:

  1. Posted bus stops are kinda just... suggestions. Except for three of the routes, passengers can just wave the bus down anywhere along the fixed route to get on, and request a stop anywhere from the driver.
  2. Trips after 6:30 don't even make you get off on the official route. The last three 5s and 11s run what's called "deviated fixed route", which means the bus will deviate from the fixed route to drop you off - up to 3/4 of a mile is what the driver I actually did it with said.
  3. All the drivers go everywhere. The bus you catch from the Mall of NH may just continue on to SNHU, if you catch it at the right time.
  4. The buses can hold for each other. If you're on a late bus trying to catch another, just ask the driver, and they'll radio in for the next bus to wait, if they're not that next bus themselves.
  5. From Downtown to the outer end, and back, is considered a single trip.
  6. Colby Court Senior Center is by request only. The same applies to Elliot at River's Edge for the 3 and inbound 12 - though it has regularly-scheduled service on the outbound 12.

Because of point 1, there are actually long stretches without any posted stops. Route 4 doesn't have any. The map I've uploaded consists of:

  • Any stop with a physical MTA or Green DASH sign
  • Any location on the route with a shelter
  • Any timepoint in the schedule

Because of point 5, there will be some route_master relations with only one child route relation, and the route relations won't follow the ## (dir): from => to name format.

Because of point 6, I didn't see the area around Colby Court Senior Center and may be missing stops.

Also, when I rode the 11, the driver skipped Garden Drive, saying it wasn't on the directions she'd been given. So I missed stops there too.

Actual route relations are coming soon(tm)!

SMART bus stops

Posted by NixillUmbreon on 8 February 2018 in English (English)

I have just passed 1,000 bus stops (sitting at 1,001) mapped via a project I'm doing, so here's my first write-up.

What I'm doing

I'm taking a set of pre-planned bus rides to all of SMART's bus stops. Every last one of them. As I'm doing so, I'm using pen and printed maps to map out the locations of all of SMART's stops. Then when I get home, I'm doing all of the following:

  1. Creating public_transport=platforms for all of the bus stops
  2. Creating public_transport=stop_positions for all of the bus stops
  3. Adding those to the various route relations I created in the overhaul in December
  4. Also adding those to public_transport=stop_areas

What I've done so far

One thousand and one stops, including all stops on:

  • 125 Fort Street (North Terminal branch only)
  • 140 Southshore
  • 160 Downriver
  • 250 Ford Road
  • 275 Telegraph
  • 280 Middlebelt South
  • 330 Grand River / Beech Daly
  • 430 Main Street / Big Beaver

What's left to go

About 4,400 stops

Next update

Gonna update once every thousand stops

SMART/DDOT overhaul

Posted by NixillUmbreon on 11 December 2017 in English (English)


As I write this, a complete overhaul to SMART/DDOT relations is being uploaded to the server. I did this for two reasons.

Reason the first:

When I last "overhauled" SMART relations, I admittedly made a huge mess of things. There were two reasons I did this:

  1. I thought it'd look nice on the transit map with each route number getting rendered just once per road.
  2. I didn't want to have to add the bus stops to all the relations and risk forgetting some.

So what I did was made route segments and route segment segments.

I apologize for that, now realizing that it's wrong. Plus, the second point above is invalid, as I've since discovered; I can edit multiple relations simultaneously.

The first reason for this overhaul is to fix that.

Reason the second:

Data for both systems was horribly outdated. For example, there were still bus routes depicted on Woodward south of Campus Martius, which hasn't been the case since the QLine construction started. The DDOT relations still used the old public transit format! So the second reason for this overhaul is a data update.


There are a lot of bus routes I haven't ridden:

  • Almost all DDOT routes outside of Downtown
  • SMART routes 160, 280, 445, 475

For these routes, I've put my best effort to mapping them accurately, though in some places I simply could not tell where the route was intended to go (see: 38 at Harrison, Sears, or Outer Drive).


Official bus schedules and maps can be found at DDOT, SMART, and RTA. Additionally, for the RTA and SMART routes, some details not shown on the maps were mapped from personal experience.

For some DDOT routes where I couldn't tell what was what on the map, I followed roads that were part of the pre-existing relations.

I also used a bit of OpenStreetCam data to figure out which way buses went around loops.

Lastly, DDOT's GTFS file is public-domain, and helped me figure out a couple things as well. It can be downloaded here.

What's next

I'm going to take a short break, then in 2018 ride all the SMART routes and record out the bus windows and put the videos on YouTube. I'll license the videos for free use for open-source mapping projects - anything you see or hear on the video will be fair game to add to the map.

I personally will use the videos to map bus stops, and add them to back the relations.

(Edit: The video thing didn't work out, but I'm doing the rides for mapping.)


Posted by NixillUmbreon on 10 May 2013 in English (English)

[A whiny post that I made years ago was here. It has now been deleted.]