Transit officials expect a new set of color-coded signs to straighten out the bus loop.
The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District spent around $15,000 developing new signs for roughly 200 bus stops with the intent of making bus travel less confusing. The signs feature color-coded maps of the routes that run through each particular stop in addition to pick-up times. The maps include information about how long it will take a bus to reach each stop. The old signs were in black-and-white and had no maps.
Two stops, the downtown transit center and UCSB’s North Hall bus loop, will also feature new “destination finders,” larger maps that include a list of destinations, usually the names of street intersections or shopping centers, listed alphabetically. Each destination has a list of bus routes that lead to it.
The new signs were designed by CHK America, a division of the English company that designed the information systems for the famed London Underground subway system.
MTD community relations manager David Damiano said making the signs easy to use was CHK’s main focus.
“They use focus groups to test it,” Damiano said. “Their goal is that anyone who approaches one of their maps should be able to figure it out in eight seconds or less.”
Damiano said the MTD would consider adding “destination finders” to more stops, but said it would not happen this year because of funding constraints.
Some students said the new signs have already made their lives a little easier.
“It’s convenient because now I don’t have to pull out my schedule anymore to look at the maps,” senior biology major Stefanie Yuen said.
Others were less enthusiastic.
“It told me what time the bus was leaving. That’s about all you need to know,” a music theory graduate student who wished only to be identified as “Russ” said.