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Old 06-09-2010, 09:39 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,645,283 times
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Yes, but most tourist are already in Midtown. Taking the "Yellow Line" to the Financial District is a mistake if you get on the N instead of the R. People see the colors and think it's like the T in Boston where each color represents a discrete line. That's not the case in New York.
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpk-nyc View Post
Yes, but most tourist are already in Midtown. Taking the "Yellow Line" to the Financial District is a mistake if you get on the N instead of the R. People see the colors and think it's like the T in Boston where each color represents a discrete line. That's not the case in New York.
I'll tell you a secret: the subway wasn't designed specifically for tourists. As a matter of fact, it wasn't designed for tourists at all. It was designed for New Yorkers. It's nice that we get a lot of tourism here in the city, but they come here and use our system, not the other way around. Keying the map to midtown was a way of identifying the Central Business District. So if you get on a train in Queens, or eastern Brooklyn, or The Bronx, you can tell right away where that train is going to take you in midtown. Period.

As far as people seeing colors on the map and making assumptions...that's their problem. The map has a key. If you don't already know how to use a map, you look at the key. Then you follow the colored lines and see where the particular route goes. So if you want to go to the Financial District and get on the N train, guess what? You got on the wrong train. Same as if you wanted to go to Church Avenue and jumped on the F train--which does have a stop at Church Avenue--but you wanted Church at Nostrand (which is where the #2 stops, not the F). There's an old expression: live and learn. You'll just have to cross back to a train going the other way and try again. It won't be the end of the world. And you won't have to pay anything extra to make the transfer.

(I'm not trying to be nasty. Or even sarcastic. I just don't quite understand where you're coming from. It sounded like you were arguing with my previous posting. I was not editorializing, or stating personal opinions. I was presenting the facts as they happen to exist, so I didn't see how arguing was a part of the picture).

Last edited by Fred314X; 06-09-2010 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:32 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,645,283 times
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My original post was a friendly warning to tourists and new comers, many of whom (like the OP) come to this board looking for information about things like the subway, that they need to pay attention to the line (letter or number) and not the color when looking at the subway map.

We have one of the only systems in the world that uses the same color for multiple lines and it can be confusing if you're not used to it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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We also have the only subway system in the world that was built with four-track layouts, meaning that uptown and downtown locals and expresses can all run at the same time. Once again, it comes down to being able to read a map so that you don't get on a train that won't stop at the station you want.

I can tell you from solid experience as a conductor: the vast majority of people on those trains--whether they're New Yorkers or visitors--simply do not pay attention to details. If you ask me why, I couldn't tell you. But I suspect the number of people on trains that pass their stops every day would be frightening to see in print. I also think it would make a fascinating subject for a psychological study.
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
I can tell you from solid experience as a conductor: the vast majority of people on those trains--whether they're New Yorkers or visitors--simply do not pay attention to details. If you ask me why, I couldn't tell you. But I suspect the number of people on trains that pass their stops every day would be frightening to see in print. I also think it would make a fascinating subject for a psychological study.
I'm not sure, but you seem to be implying that the vast majority of people are missing their stop, am I wrong? What other "details" does one need to pay attention to other then falling on the tracks.
I take issue with the colors. They are meaningless. As a conductor have you ever told a tourist to take the "red line" and transfer to the "blue line" at Fulton Street? I think not. As a matter of fact you should ignore the colors.The only reason they combined the colors was to facilitate the making of the new map after the Vignelli one. That eliminated the "clutter" in Manhattan that John Tauranac, a hardcore Manhattanophile, objected to. That characteristic of each line having it's own color was actually a good idea, one that predated the Vignelli. Another reason to switch to fewer colors was the printing cost and registration problems with the Vignelli. Except for the first few years the TA switched to a 4 color web printing saving tons of money. The only reason to know the color scheme would be for subway buffs to have a "gotcha" moment at a map convention. If you look at the Kick version the lines are once again separate running down the avenues in order to facilitate the eye's desire to "follow" a route. Seriously, think of how much easier it would be to follow a route on a moving train if they had separate colors again, irrelevant of the avenues.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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Originally Posted by modsquad81 View Post
I take issue with the colors. They are meaningless. As a conductor have you ever told a tourist to take the "red line" and transfer to the "blue line" at Fulton Street?
Take all the issue you want; the lines are still color-coded according to their runs in midtown Manhattan. That's not an opinion, that's the reality. Whether or not the trunk line color coding is a "good" thing is certainly up for debate.

I never referred to a line by color when giving directions, because we don't do that in New York. The colors are only useful on the map, and then only for the reason specified above.

Incidentally, if you go back far enough--to the 1940s, say--BMT lines used to be numbered as well. At the time, only the IND lines were lettered...and there was a system for lettering as well: lines that made purely local runs were designated with double letters (AA, CC, GG for instance). If the line ran express along any part of the route, it got a single letter. Double lettering was abandoned in 1979.
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:08 PM
 
7,545 posts, read 7,974,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
Take all the issue you want; the lines are still color-coded according to their runs in midtown Manhattan. That's not an opinion, that's the reality. Whether or not the trunk line color coding is a "good" thing is certainly up for debate.

I never referred to a line by color when giving directions, because we don't do that in New York. The colors are only useful on the map, and then only for the reason specified above.

Incidentally, if you go back far enough--to the 1940s, say--BMT lines used to be numbered as well. At the time, only the IND lines were lettered...and there was a system for lettering as well: lines that made purely local runs were designated with double letters (AA, CC, GG for instance). If the line ran express along any part of the route, it got a single letter. Double lettering was abandoned in 1979.
There may have been numbers and letters, but when you spoke about the trains, you didn't always refer to them. You took the "New Lots" train, not the whatever number it is/was.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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Originally Posted by Coney View Post
There may have been numbers and letters, but when you spoke about the trains, you didn't always refer to them. You took the "New Lots" train, not the whatever number it is/was.
This is true. MTA doesn't want conductors doing that any more, but there are enough people in New York who know the old line names so that they're still generally understood.

Another system that's going by the boards is grouping lines together within the alphabet (i.e., N, Q, R lines on Broadway). Having a W line on Broadway was one hit; the V on 6 Avenue was another. And at the end of this month, the V will become history, replaced by the M as a 6 Avenue train.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
624 posts, read 1,285,367 times
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The colors are not official designations, they are merely tools used for identification on the maps and signage, but should not be used as a guide for getting around. It's not like Boston. The official designations are the letters, numbers, and final destinations of the trains.

When I first moved to the city, we didn't have all those brightly colored circles and diamonds. The signage still referred to the BMT, IRT, etc. They could change the colors on the maps & signage anytime they want. And who knows? They might!

Tourists and transplants make themselves obvious when they refer to trains as the "blue line" or "green line" when the real New Yorker knows to say, "take the 4 or 5," the "1-2-3," or "hop on the A."

Last edited by citychik; 06-13-2010 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
40,057 posts, read 29,709,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
Tourists and transplants make themselves obvious when they refer to trains as the "blue line" or "green line" when the real New Yorker knows to say, "take the 4 or 5," the "1-2-3," or "hop on the A."
Indeed so! Many times, when I was a conductor, someone would ask me about the "blue line," for example. I'd reply, "You're from out of town, aren't you?" And they could never figure out how I knew! (Then, of course, I explained things to them).
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