The map of New York City’s subway may be getting a makeover. Six new map designs have popped up inside the 86th Street station in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The maps currently works in progress and the MTA is hoping that riders who see them will share their opinions to help make improvements. One of the new maps harkens back to an iconic design used in the 1970s.

New proposed subway design

The non-geographic and simple design of Italian designer Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 subway map made it a favorite of design and transit aficionados. Vignelli’s map, which was in use from 1972 to 1979, is so revered that it earned a spot in the Museum of Modern Art’s postwar design collection, and fans rejoiced when a vintage Vignelli was uncovered in 2017 at the 57th Street/6th Avenue F train subway station. Now, one of the new subway maps proposed by the MTA reimagines the beloved map’s modernist approach to wayfinding. Subway lines are depicted in bold, bright colors and station names are written in black. As was the case in Vignelli’s map, the physical shape of New York City’s land is more representative than realistic.

New proposed subway design

In contrast to the more design-forward version, another proposed subway shows a highly realistic map, geographical map of New York City. Subway routes denoted in thin colored lines that accurately follow the shape of the route and are dotted by station names. Parks, bodies of water, and streets are all included in the map’s design.

New proposed subway design

Other maps being tested at the station include maps of nearby attractions in the neighborhood within a walk or bus ride and  two different versions of a station map that show accessibility features. Subway riders are encouraged to share their feedback on the maps on the MTA’s websit here. One respondent will even win a 30-day unlimited ride metro card. It is unclear if the prototype maps will be put up in other stations.

Next, check out Vintage 1970’s Vignelli Subway Map Unearthed At Subway Station in Midtown, NYC

3 thoughts on “New NYC Subway Map Designs On Display at Brooklyn Station

  1. Just looking at that map, how is a tourist or anyone new to the city supposed to gauge where the train lines go without any street information on them?
    We asked you to fix the subway, not change the map that is perfectly fine and informational

  2. I think the current subway maps are fine just the way they are. To much information makes the map to crowed and much harder to read.
    I also do not think we need maps of attractions around each stop. That type of information is available at the NYC to connect with their built-in tablets.
    I also feel that most people will have already spent time mapping out their route before they leave home. If they don’t have a smartphone they would print the info out. If you have a smartphone as most people do nowadays they would find all the information on their smartphone.
    I also think this is one of the last ways the MTA should be looking to spend money they claim they don’t have. Spend money on improvements to the systen not a map that has really become outdated technology.

  3. Six new maps have been put on display…at the the 86th Street station in Bay Ridge. How disappointing that most New Yorkers won’t see them. The far end of the R line might as well be the far end of the Staten Island Rapid Transit Trains. Having had to take both for many years, I can only describe the service as excruciatingly slow.

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