A Runza-based transit system for Lincoln? UNL grad envisioned one

January 6, 2019

How convenient would it be to have a public transit system connecting every Runza in the Lincoln area?

Carlos Velasco, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, asked himself that question and spent some free time scheming what such a system would look like.

Velasco, a graphic designer who now works for an ad agency in New York City, describes himself as a “transit nerd.” He loves big cities and admires the efforts of those who design the systems connecting them.

“The reason I’m so interested in transit maps, as a designer, is they have to simplify something that is really, really complex, down to something that literally everyone can understand, and it’s a really cool challenge,” he said. “So I’m part of this Facebook group for other like-minded mass transit nerds, and the other day, someone had posted — it’s really funny and nifty — it was based on if Milwaukee had a transit system based on the locations of area Culver’s.”

Though several thousand miles from his home state, Velasco wanted to replicate the idea with the Runza restaurants in Nebraska’s two largest cities, Lincoln and Omaha. He pulled up the store locator on the company’s website and plotted the best routes using his prior knowledge of other systems. He then used Adobe Illustrator to mock up the route trees.

Velasco said the locations were easier to connect than he expected and joked the Runza owners knew what they were doing, placing stores where they did.

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