Relied on by everyone and utilized on a daily basis, transit systems form the critical backbone for urban life. One would assume that most networks feature user friendly interfaces and streamlined routing, though this isn’t always the case. Below, we try to clarify some of the colloquial nuances of the world’s most well-known networks. Just remember: Subways are like Band-Aids.
A vintage double decker bus of the Fifth Avenue Coach Company. Image Source: Flickr.com by the MTA
Fifth Avenue has it all: opulent retail, national embassies, corporate headquarters–but no Subway line. Why is this? Not only is there no line now (and no plans for one in the future), but no elevated trains or trolleys have ever operated on one of the world’s grandest thoroughfares. In fact, the avenue’s transit history is one of the most complex of any street in New York City. (more…)
In this installment of Fun Maps, we looked at a 1970′s New York City subway map we had lying around the Untapped HQ and we found subway relic of the past. On September 23rd, 1978, amidst struggles to put into place rebuilding projects from the 1960s and an impending train operator strike, the Transit Authority introduced the “Train to the Plane” or the “JFK Express.” The ride charged premium fare and featured higher quality train cars. The train was actually slower than the A service, though many residents of Howard Beach, Queens were happy to pay extra for a more comfortable ride to work or home.
Originally created by Bill Brand in 1980 as a way to utilize an unused subway station at Myrtle Avenue, Masstransiscope is arguably one of the most one-of-a-kind pieces of street art in the city today. Recently restored in 2008, the piece combines traditional street art with the design of a Zoetrope, or primitive motion picture device. The way it works is that from the window of the northbound express train coming from the DeKalb Avenue station, commuters can see 228 hand-painted panels passing by from behind a series of slits positioned in front of them. As the the series of images become slightly altered, coupled with the high speed of the train car and the pillars, the changing stream of images begin to take on the illusion of a 20 second moving picture. (more…)