New York is an accessible place. Tunnels and bridges connect boroughs across water, but for the most part, this city’s enormity is made small by the subway lines that spread like webs from the busiest centers of town to the furthest reaches of the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Covering most of the city, they can take you pretty much anywhere for $2.75.
The estimation of subway travel times from any one point in the city is probably something you’ve never thought of for more than a few seconds, but we wish that we had. WNYC, behind such treasures as the Subway Agony Index measuring station and car heat in real time, has come up with Transit Time NYC, an interactive map that visualizes in crisp, vivid detail, exactly how long it takes for anyone to get, well, anywhere. They tell you to pick a point on the map above, and the accessibility of the subway spans out from that point in a rainbow that’s probably cooler to see than to understand.
Some findings include the complete inaccessibility of some random points in Queens and the southern end of Staten Island, the tip of the Rockaways, and, surprisingly, the southernmost end of Manhattan. Points like these create a sea of blue, representing on the map’s scale at least a 120 minute journey anywhere sufficiently far enough away. Other things we noticed was that the subways from Midtown can take you straight into the heart of Queens to the east in more or less the same time as it takes to move north or south in Manhattan. The Bronx remains comparatively more accessible, with hardly any dark blue and even clear routes all the way to Lower Manhattan for under an hour.
Truthfully, we had the most fun clicking points on the map, either trying to find the most subway-accessible spot in the city, and the least, but we found that for the most part, what we believed using the map for the first time was true, that New York’s subway, though frustrating at times, is luxury compared to the transit messes of the older, far more confusing layouts of some other major cities like Washington, D.C., and Boston.