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New T map chosen; builds on existing map

New MBTA map

The state announced today it will start replacing T maps with a new version designed by Michael Kvrivishvili, an interactive and graphic designer from Moscow:

The new maps will first be placed in the Orient Heights Blue Line station when it reopens early next year and the new Assembly Square Orange Line station when it opens in late 2014.

Kvrivishvili's entry was one of the finalists in a competition run by the T to find the best map it could without paying for it. State officials say that his entry not only won the popular vote but has a number of features that will make it better than the increasingly congest map now in use, including:

  • Markers for all surface Green Line and Silver Line 2 routes;
  • Clearer depiction of just how the Silver Line works downtown
  • All lines now have a label with their colors, in addition to just being that color
  • A more organized re-orienting of subway lines
  • Skinnier bus routes, again, making for a cleaner map

State officials say his map has room for expansion - to show the new Green Line stops north of Lechmere when they're added in whenever.

Neighborhoods: 
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AttachmentSize
PDF icon Larger version of the map666.43 KB
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Comments

Are the Bike paths? This is sooooooo unacceptable.

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Since when does the T make or run bike paths?

It's a T map. It maps T things. There aren't any cars or taxis or Fung Wah routes on here either.

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you know - the ones that connect to dear island.

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Rubel makes some great ones: http://www.emapstore.com/outdoor/bike/rubel.html

Also available at bike shops.

They are good for getting around the non-interstate portions of the area as well, regardless of mode of travel.

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Their central mass map has been out of print for nearly a decade and their western mass map has been gone for almost as long. These maps will never come back. The Eastern MA map is still around but it was the ones west of the city that were really helpful.

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This map is great, it elegantly illustrates how the silver bus does crazy eights on its way through the city, though the straight line in south boston is misleading. Is should be more like an ampersand there.

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Wow! It's unfortunate somebody local couldn't have pulled that one off.

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I was wondering if he has ever been here or just took a stab at it without local knowledge. It looks pretty good, to the extent that I have looked at it.

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this one best: http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2011/09/22/super-mbta-world-image/

Also, didn't the MBTA unveil a big map update in 2010 when they finished renovating Arlington, Copley, and Kenmore to include connecting bus lines? And if I recall, there was another one (2006-2008-ish) when something changed on the Silver Line? I'm all for accurate maps, but is this the best use of MBTA money given the age of the cars on the Red and Orange lines?

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Too bad that whimsical one didn't win. This one is a little more straight-forward and non-native friendly I'd imagine. Congrats to the designer.

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The 32 bus from Forest Hills to Readville is a straight line -- one of the few you'll find anywhere in Boston. Why does this map represent it as a semi-circular curve?

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There are a ton of geographic inaccuracies about the map - downtown Boston is nowhere near that big, Copley is way too far away from Back Bay, and you'd never guess you could walk from Comm. Ave. to Reservoir via Cleveland Circle based on that map. But subway maps typically have stuff like that (look at how large Manhattan is on the MTA map compared to its actual size), the key question is whether they can help you figure out how to get from station A to station B.

But you're right: The 32 is basically a straight southwest extension of the Orange Line, at least until that last jog past Readville Station, so why does it loop to the southeast like that?

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Given the current state of operations/maintenance on the T, it does not have an interest in accurately reflecting how close things actually are to one another. If the map did do that, my guess is that T would lose a non-trivial amount of fare revenue because people would realize that they are better off walking in many instances.

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The distance between JFK/UMASS and North Quincy should be more accurate to what it is...a LOT longer than that map shows.

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If any distance longer than, say, 3/4 of a mile had the (rounded) number of miles just as a little numeral next to the line. There could even be a symbol too for stops less than 1/2 a mile apart. Then people who aren't intimately familiar with an area would know whether the distance between two stops is walkable and/or roughly how long they should expect the train ride to take.

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The back ground is beige, the blue line takes a 90 degree turn, park street-downtown crossing connection is curved, silver line is same size as rail, silver line airport section has no loop heath street is in line with forrest hills not jackson square, braintree is closer to downtown than mattapan, riverside and boston college are the same distance from downtown, the bus lines are barely visible, and the scale is terrible with no connection to show where stations are geographically. Those are the problems i found in the first minute of looking at the map.

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I hear you're an awesome graphic designer when you're not whining anonymously.

So we're eagerly awaiting your map.

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Today I learned that Mattapan is much further away from JFK/UMass than Braintree.

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the jpg and the pdf differ in at least one respect, as the pdf has an arrow heading from Terminal E and the jpg does not. Are there other differences?

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It's much clearer to me that I should continue to think of the Silver Line only as those buses between South Station and the Airport and find some other, clearer, way should I ever find myself needing to go to any of those other places that it theoretically also goes to.

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Where is Heralds Street? Gee, I hope they catch that typo - unless I am wrong and Herald is really plural.

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I hope they also fix all the incorrect English.

"not marked commuter rail and subway stations are accessible."

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Skinnier bus routes, again, making for a cleaner map

Shouldn't the lines for the Silver Li(n)e be skinnier since they're bus routes then? They're certainly not rapid transit..

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You do realize Silver Line charges subway fares right?

Also, why do they insist on bending the 77 when theres so much space upwards?

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...charges bus fares, SL-Waterfront charges subway fares.

I suppose they deserve bigger width than other bus lines thanks to frequency. But I'm also a fan of frequency mapping, and I think the Green Line branches should be smaller width to show their lesser frequency. The Red Line branches south of Columbia as well.

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Except at the airport, where the Silver Line charges no fares.

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The B, C and E branches of the Green Line aren't rapid transit either. Do you advocate removing them?

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in this map. Why the T had gone so long without including the most important stop in the entire system on their main map is beyond me.

now give me your upvotes.

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No need to label all the route numbers, but there are lots of them.

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showing all the bus routes radiating outward.

Because when you're on the T, you only really need to know where you are in relationship to Roslindale.

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But it's not a village, amirite?

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It should be simply known as "The Square" - whenever you say this, everyone far and wide shall know that you're referring to the vicinity around Adam's Park. "Roslindale Village" is like acknowledging there might be more important places in the world, but we all know the center of the universe is "The Square."

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I have nothing to say.

Now give *me* your upvotes, because I need them for my purposes.

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I think downtown is a mistake. It makes all the stations look miles apart, rather than half a block. Means more tourists doing useless transfer, clogging up the system.

I mean dtx to park being the same distance as park to copley?

I understand they need to take geographic liberties....but this is too much

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"I think downtown is a mistake. It makes all the stations look miles apart, rather than half a block. Means more tourists doing useless transfer, clogging up the system."

Agreed. Although I'm sure most tourists don't really know any better, it always amazes me when I see them waiting for 20 minutes for a train at Government Center, only to then see them exit the train and station at State. They could have walked there in under two minutes. Likewise a very short walk from Government or State to the Aquarium, a big tourist attraction. No need to wait forever for a Blue Line train at Government Center to go to the Aquarium.

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I'm not sure the little labels that say "GL", "RL" etc. are going to make it any more clear what the names of the lines are. I mean, if you had no idea how the subway lines were named, which is more helpful, the little label saying "RL" or the fact that it's drawn as a thick RED LINE.

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I'm guessing the addition of these labels was for color-blind readers of the map, but of course you're right: "GL D" is pretty useless.

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I'm color-blind and have never had a problem with the old T maps. Seeing bright red next to bright green (like a Christmas decoration), it's easy to distinguish the two. Colorblindness almost never means true monochromatic vision. It's more likely to be a problem if you're looking at one of those maps they put on the train that only shows a single line, but those are usually labeled with the line name in words (as I recall), and it's pretty much a moot point by then anyway.

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GL D stands for Good Luck, Dude...because you're gonna need it if you take the MBTA.

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Maybe its a compromise for color blindness? They should spell it out but perhaps there were places that wouldn't fit except with the tiniest of letters?

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"The new maps will first be placed in the Orient Heights Blue Line station when it reopens early next year."
Early next year?
I thought Orient Heights was re-opening sometime in October?

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I believe they're done with the weekend bustitution to accommodate Orient Heights construction, but there's a lot to do before it'll be ready for passengers again. I'd be surprised if it opens this month.

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I wonder what it will look like when the Green Line Extension is done in 2018 (1019?, 2020? 2045?)

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Hopefully they fix the typo before they print thousands of copies -- it's "Herald St", not "Heralds St".

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Well, you get what you pay for...

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What happened to the route numbers for the ferries?

Do we really need to see every bus stop on the SL2?

Why is the Blue Hill Ave commuter rail station shown, when AFAIK there isn't even a projected completion date yet?

I think it's confusing how the lines showing bus routes end somewhere near the route number text, which is somewhere near the train station dot, instead of connecting directly to the dot.

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If Assembly Square gets in there, so should the new commuter rail stop.

And they'll have to fix the placement of the 57 bus route, it should be south of the Framingham line through Brighton.

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It's humorously appropriate that the first pace the map will be placed is the new Orient Heights station. Before the old station was demolished, the map on the inbound side was from 1972. Although it was quite a history lesson looking at it (Red Line ending at Harvard, for example) it wasn't very helpful if you needed to get to a stop that didn't exist in 1972.

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I sure wish we could combine the overall geographical accuracy of this map with the well-handled bus and commuter rail connections of this map.

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the service between Southie and Back Bay?

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Because the odds of the Track 61 project ever happening are about the same as the Red / Blue Connector and Blue Line to Lynn happening in the next 20.

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This is an excellent schematic map - you can easily see, given a stop name, which train you should board and for where.

Having had to navigate the transit systems in many different cities in the last few years, I honestly have far more interest in this sort of map than a map using a standard projection or a street grid projection. Actually, the best thing I've seen so far is a brochure that provided both - one gave you an idea of what cross-streets to use to find the stations and where you were in the city, the other provided a quick navigation aid once you were inside the system and needed to know where to change for different lines.

Sometimes, maps that strive to be accurate are far more confusing - one of the more projection-correct maps has lines and dots at places like North station to demarcate connections that would be a nightmare to a horribly jet-lagged someone unfamiliar with the system - like "where do I catch this shuttle?" confusion. Locally accurate in that you have to walk a bit to make that connection, but confusing and distracting with unnecessary detail.

The key is that schematic maps provide quick readability - you can quickly find the stop you want, see the two stops before that, and find your transfer points. The added value of a projection map is that you get the real relationships between stops and the larger world they are embedded in. However, they are a beeyotch to read and can get very confusing and intimidating in the larger cities.

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Stop whining! This was clearly the best of all the choices. Subway maps are never meant to be scale drawings, so don't complain about that. They can't be scale drawings, or the downtown areas would be much too tight and the suburbs would be much too spread out. This has been known for a hundred years. Subway maps are always topological, not geographical!

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For the whiners, they can put a notice at the top and bottom: "THIS IS A SYSTEM MAP AND NOT GEOGRAPHICALLY ACCURATE"

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"THIS IS A SYSTEM MAP AND NOT GEOGRAPHICALLY TO SCALE"

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if you don't count the other (and obvious) choice that MBTA management wouldn't let the people vote on at all. That being:

The existing system map isn't broken - why do we need to fix it?

This whole nonsense was nothing more than a textbook example of a solution in search of a problem. And notice the MBTA hasn't bothered to mention (nor has our crack investigative media ever bothered to ask) how much it will cost to eventually replace all the maps system-wide.

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There's several changes coming up soon, so they may as well try to iron out some of the longstanding issues with the current map. I think they could have done a better job still, but the cost of replacing maps is something they would have had to pay anyway.

The new map looks like it will accommodate the Green Line extension fairly easily. Actually, I'm surprised they didn't make it a requirement of the contest. He put Assembly Square in there, the GLX will begin to open a few years later.

What will probably happen is that this map will go up in a few places, and then the GLX will be added to it, and that version will be deployed widely.

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Pretty cool that it includes the Assembly Square stop.

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where is the A line?!

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Where's the E Line to Arborway And F Line to Lenox Street? And G Line to Dudley Square? And the H Line to City Point? And Union Square branch? And College Ave branch?

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