5 Nov

Map of the Week: NYC’s New Live Subway Map

By Nicole Oveisi

Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) just released their newly upgraded subway map. The infamous NYC Hertz-Tauranac subway map that was released in 1979 has endured throughout the decades, however MTA’s new digital map has taken the reins.

The digital map and the MTA app provide real-time information, including the movements of the trains themselves. It also helps riders navigate the underground with real-time service interruptions, construction, closures, elevator outages, and more. By clicking on a specific metro station, information comes up on which lines will pass through and how long the wait time is. Its design is modern and sleek, encouraging simplicity through blank space.

The new map doesn’t come without its criticisms however. The centuries-old debate about what a map should include has been reignited with MTA’s changes. The new map neglects many spatial details such as street names and points of interest, something the old subway map may have had too much of. Some riders love the simplicity of the new app with real-time movements of trains and others appreciate the detail of the Hertz-Tauranac map. However, MTA’s decision to revamp the old map comes in the hopes that the live aspect will create more efficient rider experiences and better aid visitors that are unfamiliar with the metro system.

The previous Hertz-Tauranac map. Source: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

MTA averages about 5.5 million weekday riders, however the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought that number down to about 30 percent of that, so it may take a while to fully experience the new upgrades to the system.

For more information, check out CURBED’s article, First Look: New York’s Digital Subway Map Comes Alive Today.