NYC’s classic subway map may be getting a total makeover.
The MTA is currently experimenting with a newly designed transit map, which has appeared for rider feedback in nine stations this far, according to an MTA interview with the Wall Street Journal.
The modern map we’ve been using for the past 40 years is apparently not very geographically accurate, so the transit authority has been exploring ways to better communicate how the system actually works for users.
The new map shows how the subway tracks connect and interact with each other in a clearer way– for instance, in the current design, different lines are combined into one at points when they run together, but the new design actually shows them all separated, just running parallel to one another.
The new design is quite similar to a subway map design from the ’70s, by Massimo Vignelli, which was only used for a few year before it was scrapped by the department. Overall, it is simpler and cleaner, but apparently at the time they felt it took “too many liberties with geography.”
To combat that issue, the department is planning on hanging two types of maps next to each other — a more geographically accurate map of the city, showing the subway lines & Select Bus Service routes, next to the more modern minimalist subway map.
You can find the new maps currently in Times Square, Grand Central, the Fulton Transit Center, and six others. Each one has a special QR code printed on it so you can provide your feedback in real time.
If riders react positively, all of the current maps could eventually be completely replaced — though an exact timeline hasn’t been shared for that possibility yet.