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NCTR is located at the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida. CUTR is recognized as one of the country's Best Workplaces for CommutersSM      

Developing a Printed Transit Information Material Design Manual

Previous phases of NCTR research have shown that a significant proportion of the general public is unable to successfully plan a transit trip using printed transit information materials such as system maps, route maps, and schedules. There is evidence that such trip planning difficulties represent a major barrier to transit use among non-users, and may also contribute to the underutilization of transit services by existing users. A lack of recognized design standards has also contributed to inconsistencies in the material designs produced by different agencies, resulting in an unnecessary source of user confusion. The objective of this project was to develop a printed transit information material guidebook to assist transit agencies in the production of effective and consistent printed transit information materials. The research showed that there was a lack of design standards in printed transit information material design. Out of 121 surveyed transit agencies, only 26 were aware of published guidelines on the design of printed information materials. Of these, only 15 agencies used published guidelines when designing their materials. In comparing the design options employed by transit agencies against the published recommendations, it was found that in some cases transit agency designs were consistent with the recommended best practices, while in other cases they were not. Overall, it was concluded that there was a need within the industry for a guidebook that synthesized the various published recommendations into an accessible format, and also provided a range of best practice examples. A guidebook was subsequently developed to address this need.   

Download the guidebook and final report For more information, contact Alasdair Cain at


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