Unveiling the LA Metro Owl Service System Map

Unveiling the LA Metro Owl Service System Map

Design development toward a user-focused product.

We are excited to announce the launch of the LA Metro Owl Service Map – a new LA Metro transit map which showcases the bus services that operate between 12-4 AM. This product caters to commuters who depend on public transit during late night hours. 

As Metro’s first visual planning product for the overnight bus network, the Owl Map reaffirms Metro’s commitment to continuously improve access to reliable, 24/7 public transit options. DCR collaborated with Metro’s Service Planning division in conceiving this newest member of the Metro transit map product suite.

Below is a glimpse into how this map was brought to life.

Design process

Although the design was based on the existing Bus & Rail System Map, we went through an extensive design development process based on the needs of late night transit riders.

One of our primary goals was to make this map as user-friendly as possible. This means considering the needs of both seasoned commuters as well as first-time riders, with clarity and ease-of-use as key priorities. Careful design development ensures that the new information product is not only accurate, but presented in a way that is intuitive and accessible. 

To distinguish this map from other Metro transit information, we chose a dark “night-time” color palette. By working with a light yellow and dark purple palette, the design emulates the glow of a bustling nighttime city surrounded by distinct nearby mountains. 

The color scheme also allows bus service information to stand out with strong visual contrast against the background. Even though Metro Rail services are not operating during Owl hours, it was determined that the rail network and rail stations in proximity to bus transfer points should remain visible, as they are useful for wayfinding in the region.

You can find the high resolution map on Metro’s website here.