Real talk: I’m not the biggest fan of San Francisco public transportation. So when I first heard of the alternative transportation network of private buses coursing through the arteries of the city, my ears perked up. It became sort of an obsession for me.
As it happens, around this time last year, Stamen, a design and tech studio in the Mission, was also watching the shuttle network very carefully.
Stamen is known for mapping complex systems -- crime in San Francisco for example -- and they tend to get creative.
Eric Rodenbeck, Stamen’s founder and creative director, says their research led them to something they didn’t expect:
Stamen ended up making an elaborate map of the routes, modeled after the famous NYC subway map, except instead of trains, they showed travel lines of companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Google, and eBay. Their maps have been used in ways that they didn't initially intend, like helping real estate agents price apartments according to the location's proximity to a tech bus stop. Or in my case, become a private transportation hitchhiker.