Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Best New York Transit Maps

TransitMe has a great collection of New York transit maps. TransitMe has taken MTA's transit maps and made them interactive by overlaying them on top of a Google Map of the city.

The collection includes the MTA's subway map, the late night subway map and the city's bus maps. The latest map to be added to the collection is a New York bike map. The map shows the city's dedicated bike paths, bike lanes, shared lanes and signed routes.

The problem with transit maps is that they nearly always sacrifice geographical accuracy for the sake of ease of use. Wouldn't it be great if we could bend the transit maps of New York to fit the geographical reality.

Judging by Ben Schmidt's MTA Map of Actual New York the answer is a resounding no. Ben has stretched, squeezed and rotated the transit map of New York to align it with the underlying road map of the city. It is very noticeable how the MTA map expands Manhattan, due to the higher proportion of lines and stations situated there. You have to admit that the map loses some legibility when you squeeze all that information onto a more geographically accurate map.

WNYC has created a fictional interactive map explaining how the New York subway system could survive a future snowmaggedon. When New York suffers from a snow storm the MTA has a habit of closing down the subway system. WYNC has therefore formulated a plan to close off the overground sections of the subway system during future snowstorms so that the underground parts can continue to run.

The Snowpiercer Scenario is a Mapbox map using custom map tiles of the MTA. The overground parts of the subway system are faded out on the map, indicating that these lines could be closed during times of heavy snow. The remaining subway lines are the ones which would remain open, even when it snows.

LiveTrain NYC is a real-time map of MTA subway trains. The map shows the MTA trains moving in real-time based on the trip updates provided by the MTA.

The map uses the MTA's GTFS real-time feed of schedule updates to estimate the position of the trains on the network. If you select a train's marker on the map you can view its full scheduled timetable, showing when the train is expected to arrive at each station on its route.

The trains shown on the map can be filtered by route. It is also possible to click on the station markers to view the scheduled departures at that stop.

Richard Dunks has created a series of transit maps visualizing how New Yorkers commute to work. The three maps show how workers in each New York City census tract travel to work by subway, bus and / or car.

The Subway Ridership map reveals the number of workers, aged 16 and over, who commute to work by subway in each census tract. As you would expect census tracts near subway stations in general show the highest percentage of workers travelling to work by subway. However the map also reveals that workers in Pelham Bay Park and East New York also have a high percentage of subway commuters, despite having no subway station nearby.

The Bus Transit Shed map shows the number of commuters who travel to work by bus. Again, as you might expect, the map reveals that commuters who don't live near a subway station seem more likely to commute to work by bus. However the percentage of workers in census tracts not near subway stations and travelling to work by bus doesn't seem to be uniform, so presumably there is a story to be told in those tracts with the highest levels of bus commuting usage.

Isochrone maps are great way to compare the commuting times for different modes of transport. Transit Battle NYC is a great example of using isochrone mapping to show where in New York you should catch the bus and when you should use the subway instead.

Drag the marker to a location on this map of New York and you can instantly view an overlay visualizing where you can travel quickest by bus and where you can travel fastest by subway. The map uses data from the MTA's GTFS feeds for the transit time data which is then processed with OpenTripPlanner.

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