Following Jarrett Walker‘s repeated focus on frequency as the main distinguishing feature of local transit service, some people have gone and made maps of the frequent buses of their local areas, complementing official maps in such cities as Portland and LA. The importance is that regular bus maps are overly complex, and do not make it clear which buses can be relied upon all day and which are too low-frequency for show-up-and-go service.
So as a service to the New York City bus-riding public, here are my maps of frequent routes in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. The standard I use is 10-minute service in the afternoon off-peak, barring slight one-time irregularities. Some frequent trunk lines have infrequent branches; only the trunk lines appear on the map. The color scheme is meant to help dissimilate routes and reduce confusion. If multiple routes sharing the same trunk line are frequent, then they all appear, helping indicate very high frequency.
A slightly stricter map of Queens, using an 8-minute standard, is available on Cap’n Transit’s blog.