The first major redesign of the NYC subway map in 40 years is a digital version that shows service in real time, including allowing users to click on stations and individual lines to see the actual wait time for the next train.
When you zoom in on the new app, you’ll see trains moving along the colored lines, like little grey caterpillars, showing the train’s actual movement from station to station.
The new digital map also provides elevator and escalator status at every station, train reroutes, exit and entrance locations, and underground tunnel transfers.
Introduced by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday, the new digital map is FREE to download, and replaces The Weekender, a rider guide to service changes Saturdays and Sundays due to system maintenance and construction.
The Weekender was introduced in 2017, which is practically prehistoric in digital technology time.
While it was easy to use, with service changes viewable by the station, line, and borough, the MTA says the new app is even more accurate.
Download it at map.mta.gov and try it out.
It’s still in its beta version, and the MTA is inviting feedback from early adopters, to help work out any glitches or fine-tune preferred uses, before the final version.
The project took on new importance during the COVID-19 Pandemic, as it provides riders critical real-time information for efficient riding and limiting time in public places.
The new map replaces the Weekender, a rider guide to service changes on Saturdays and Sundays due to system maintenance and construction.
While the Weekender was easy to use, with service changes viewable by the station, line, and borough, the agency said the new real-time map is even more accurate.
In 2018, the agency launched a mobile app, MyMTA, that provided updates for subway, buses, and trains, and included trip planning options for a more customized commute.
I have always found MyMTA to be clunky, slow and difficult to use, so I am glad for this new map.
There’s also an MTA app for bus riders, MTA Bus Time, which provides real-time arrival info.
Digital subway map created by Brooklyn-based company
Created by Brooklyn-based design and technology firm Work & Co., the map modernizes both Massimo Vignelli’s iconic 1972 map and the current map designed by Michael Hertz, it combines the familiar geometric and graphic design-friendly Vignelli map with the geographical elements of Hertz.
The launch of the new map follows an 18-month partnership between Work & Co, the MTA, and the Transit Innovation Partnership, a public-private partnership between the MTA and the partnership for New York City.
Key features of the new map
Automatically updating train lines:
- Train lines will redraw themselves using real-time data to illustrate current and accurate train service status. Sections of train lines fade out where a train line is not running and are denoted with dashes if trains are running in a single direction.
- The user will see trains moving, which helps to signal to users that the map is live and also reflect real-time locations of trains throughout the subway system.
- Greater map detail is exposed as the user zooms in, including the ability to see individual train lines, subway entrances, station names, and street locations and names.
- The new map highlights accessible stations and provides updates to accessibility-related equipment like elevators and escalators.
- The map uses the MTA’s data feed to convey official MTA communications for emergencies.
Explore the live subway map here.
And the MTA is encouraging riders to provide feedback on the new map while it’s in its beta version.
Images courtesy Work & Co. and MTA