Andrew Graham, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County will pilot a new $6 million effort to develop a unified mapping system that will help commuters better navigate the Bay Area’s 27 public transit systems, beginning in 2024.
The goal is to develop digital and physical maps and a wayfinding system that would provide uniform signage, information about walking distances, along with shuttle options between bus stops, train stations and ferry terminals.
The unified regional mapping system was one of 27 recommendations made by a task force convened to encourage riders’ return to public transportation as COVID-19 restrictions on social gathering and office work have been relaxed.
The task force was formed in 2020 by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the government agency that oversees transportation planning in the Bay Area.
Design and installation of the new system is scheduled to begin in early 2024. The initial roll out will include new signs and physical maps. The system is to begin with transit locations in Sonoma County before expanding into Solano County and then the rest of the Bay Area.
Sonoma County is a good place to start the project because it is an example, on a small scale, of the challenges of navigating disparate public transit systems, commission spokesperson John Goodwin told The Press Democrat on Wednesday. Sonoma County has different bus systems in its various cities, in addition to the Sonoma County Transit system and the Sonoma Marin Area Regional Transit System passenger train.