Official Map: Bus Routes of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

This map was nominated by Tumblr user Tevi as the worst transit map ever. While I don’t agree, as the map is at least competently drawn, it does have some serious shortcomings, not the least of which is knowing how much detail is too much.

Have we been there? No

What we like: The blue background behind the map is a refreshing change from white or neutral grey, and the north pointer is quite lovely (north pointers are often very generic and boring, so it’s good to see a nice one).

What we don’t like: The first infuriating thing: the lack of a legend or key that explains what the different styles of route lines represent. Why do some have a white dotted line in the middle? Why are some dashed? It was only after 20 minutes of study that I realised that the dotted route lines correspond to Minibus and Taxibus services. I’m still not entirely sure what the dashed lines represent. Peak-hour only?

To my mind, there’s too much unnecessary route detail on the map. Do users of the map really need to see the separate entry and exit ramps that the buses use to access or leave the freeway in order to get to their destination? It just adds extra visual clutter to the map and could be simplified.

The rainbow circle of routes around the Université de Sherbrooke really needs some work, and the less said about the inset of the city centre, the better - it barely shows any more detail than the main map and seems to be very confused. I still can’t work out the exact placement of the Dépot station…

Our rating: At first glance, looks quite good, but has some fatal usability flaws that make it very difficult to use. Two stars.

2 Stars

(Source: Official STS website)