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Old 06-14-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
1,401 posts, read 2,073,667 times
Reputation: 860

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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
First of all, get rid of the confusing numbers and letters model, at least for the most part. It's outdated and cumbersome, and all it does is make a pretty simple thing harder to understand. Really there are only nine major corridors, not including the shuttles or Staten Island:

red/7 Ave (1, 2, 3)
green/Lexington (4, 5, 6)
purple/42 St-Flushing (7)
blue/8 Ave (A, C, E)
orange/6 Ave (B, D, F),
light green/Crosstown (G)
brown/Nassau St (J, Z)
silver/14 St-Canarsie (L)
yellow/Broadway (N, Q, R)

It would not be too big a stretch to start imagining the system in terms of these nine corridors rather than 20 distinct lines. London, after all, manages fine with eleven lines, plus DLR plus Overground plus Tramlink, and soon plus Crossrail all operating within the same sphere. If New York could market the Subway as a system of just nine transit corridors, with either slight route variations or a couple different lines contained in each, I think it would solve most of the problem. They could even keep the original letter and number designations as route names within each corridor, but simply imagining them as grouped corridors rather than lines would make a big difference. Then I would adopt the London practice of isolated-line wayfinding maps on every platform (whipped this up in a couple minutes, so it's rough): http://i.imgur.com/OdgtLiA.png. Just that would make a big difference.
I can agree with you somewhat but your logic just wouldn't work here. Read this post below which pretty much sums up a lot. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Well, the complete transit novice is also unlikely to be catching a train out to Jamaica, Queens. For most tourists, the subway is not that complicated since they're spending nearly all of their time in Manhattan and the train only goes two directions on the island.

Manhattan is easier to understand than Chicago, imo. You have numbered streets that go in ascending order from South to North. And you have numbered avenues that go in ascending order from East to West. Lower Manhattan gets trickier, but for the most part, it's pretty easy to understand.
We honestly can't adopt just the color system because if you tell someone new to the city "Take the Green line to Yankee Stadium" and they hop on the "6" they'll never arrive there. This is just ONE example of why we could never just stick with colors/have slight variations. In Manhattan SURE, it's pretty simple. In the other boroughs that's where I think our transit system really thrives because you have to know where you're going and it covers a larger more complex area than just Manhattan.

Lastly from a historical standpoint our subway system has distinct lines because at one point the system(s) were own by their respective cities. The City of Brooklyn and The City of New York (Manhattan)

Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brooklyn - Manhattan Transit

Independent Subway System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interborough Rapid Transit Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's a lot of info to take in but after you know the history of it all it's quite fascinating and just apart of what makes our city (and subway system) unique.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,766,635 times
Reputation: 2336
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
I can agree with you somewhat but your logic just wouldn't work here. Read this post below which pretty much sums up a lot. . .



We honestly can't adopt just the color system because if you tell someone new to the city "Take the Green line to Yankee Stadium" and they hop on the "6" they'll never arrive there. This is just ONE example of why we could never just stick with colors/have slight variations. In Manhattan SURE, it's pretty simple. In the other boroughs that's where I think our transit system really thrives because you have to know where you're going and it covers a larger more complex area than just Manhattan.

Lastly from a historical standpoint our subway system has distinct lines because at one point the system(s) were own by their respective cities. The City of Brooklyn and The City of New York (Manhattan)

Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brooklyn - Manhattan Transit

Independent Subway System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interborough Rapid Transit Company - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's a lot of info to take in but after you know the history of it all it's quite fascinating and just apart of what makes our city (and subway system) unique.
All totally valid points! And I happily defer to your vastly superior knowledge of the Subway as a New Yorker. I don't live with it every day, and my experience is very limited. This is just what I've noticed from the perspective of a newcomer to the city and as something of a wayfinding/transit enthusiast. The system I know best is the Tube, so it's sometimes hard not to compare everything else to that standard.

Let me clarify - I'm not suggesting, for example, that the 4, 5, and 6 all just be branded "GREEN LINE" and we hope for the best, because you're absolutely right, the 4, the 5, and the 6 are all distinct lines with distinct stops and destinations. What I'm imagining is that the 4, 5, and 6 would continue to be three lines, just like they are now, but they would be grouped into one larger "green corridor," or something to that effect. So a boarding passenger would follow the signs for the northbound Green trains at, say, Grand Central. Then, before arriving at a platform, there would be signage like the quick mockup I made for the northern tip of the A and C lines, which would have separate information about upcoming stops for the 4, the 5, and the 6. She would be able to see that to get to Yankee Stadium, the Green train she needs is the 4, because the 5 and 6 don't stop there. At this point in her journey, the system works the same way it does now. I guess I'm not proposing a massive overhaul, just an extra organizational order of magnitude on top of what is already in place, for the sake of clarity and for the sake of outsiders like me who end up more intimidated than comforted by the twenty-some letters and numbers involved in the Subway. Really the bones are already there - everything is color-coded and everything, it's just a matter of making the information as straightforward and concise as possible while still maintaining complete accessibility and ease of use.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:30 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,026,386 times
Reputation: 14811
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuddedLeather View Post
We honestly can't adopt just the color system because if you tell someone new to the city "Take the Green line to Yankee Stadium" and they hop on the "6" they'll never arrive there.
Except London does do something similar; the Northern Line (black) splits into two paths in the city center and then has two destinations. Check your trains route or destination before boarding.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:31 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,991 posts, read 42,026,386 times
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If you take the NYC subway off-hours, the pattern of which train is local and express can get confusing.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 89,260,590 times
Reputation: 29451
Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Chicago has express routes too.. Some are set planned such as the Purple and Brown Lines, and others kind of "decide" to be express when you're on the train, but usually there's a non express train right behind it so you get off and get on another one within 1-3 minutes.
There is no express service on the Brown Line. However, let's not forget we do have a number of express bus routes along LSD.

I do wish they hadn't gotten rid of the skip-stop system, but I guess it's nice to not have to wait 20-25 minutes for a train in the middle of the day any more.

In terms of ease of use, it's pretty tough to beat the convenience of Chicago's perfect-grid layout. Way too many coverage gaps in train service though, especially as you get further away from the downtown hub and the "spokes" get further and further apart.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Maryland
4,269 posts, read 5,491,694 times
Reputation: 4600
My experience has been that Chicago and Boston are pretty user friendly, except for the Green line in Boston, which can be confusing if you aren't sure which line your destination is on. I actually thought Seattle wasn't very user friendly, but mostly because I didn't think it was always clear when you were and weren't in free zones. Plus, I think the whole idea of paying as you exit a bus (for example) isn't a particularly efficient way of doing things.
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