A Better Transit Map for NY & NJ
Subway NY NJ uses empty space on the left edge of the current New York City Subway map to display the New Jersey waterfront and PATH service across the Hudson River. On the Subway NY NJ map, four of the seven PATH stations in New Jersey that fit within the existing boundaries of the map are displayed: Exchange Place, Grove Street, Hoboken, and Newport. An arrow in the lower left corner indicates that service continues off map to Journal Square, Harrison, and Newark. A map key includes essential information on service, fares, and where to find more information.
Mader has created a rendering of the new map himself, and his website Subway NY NJ holds his entire proposal. This week he told us, “I was also careful to stay within the existing geographical boundaries of the map, as well as the style guide, so that it would be clear that this can be added without fundamentally altering the character and usability of the map. I also added a description box with info on PATH, and a disclaimer that service is not provided by MTA, but MetroCard is accepted.” –NJ Man Leads Fight To Feature PATH Trains Prominently On The NYC Subway Map, by Jen Carlson, Gothamist
Riders Want a Comprehensive Map
65% of respondents said yes to an NJ.com poll asking Do you want NJ included on NYC’s subway map? Riders interviewed at the MTA’s Fulton Street Subway Station expressed support for the Subway NY NJ map.
Subway maps in New York City have a long history of including the Hudson Waterfront and subway connections between New York and New Jersey. Improving how PATH is represented on the current map will give 1.8 billion annual transit riders a more complete picture of rapid-transit service in the urban core of New York and New Jersey. Subway NY NJ is meant to represent the kind of regional thinking and cooperation that directly benefits the transit-riding public, but wouldn’t cost the agencies much in terms of time or money, especially compared to capital projects.
As late as the 1960s, the PATH trains did appear on the subway map, albeit in a different colour to the main system. Resurrecting this combined effort could be an easy win for the city authorities, Mader argues, expanding the functional area of the city for many residents at almost no cost. “We live in an era when capital construction is expensive. But ‘expansion’ doesn’t have to mean building a new line – it can come from giving a clearer map.” By making the map himself, Mader told us, he hoped to demonstrate to the MTA quite how easy it would be to actually, well, make this map. –One man’s mission to put New York’s secret subway back on the map, by John Elledge, CityMetric
Subway Map Prominently Displays Other Rapid Transit Services, but not PATH
AirTrain JFK, a rapid-transit service operated by the Port Authority that connects JFK Airport with the NYC Subway and Long Island Rail Road, is included on the Subway Map in a visual style consistent with subway services. The Roosevelt Island Tram, a gondola service connecting Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, is also included on the map in a distinctive visual style. Displaying PATH in a similar, visually-consistent manner would serve as another example of smart inter-agency cooperation that directly benefits the transit-riding public.
The current MTA map doesn’t integrate New Jersey and PATH service. PATH is represented using the visual style labeled “Commuter rail service”: pale blue lines, square station markers, and small, lightweight text labels. This doesn’t effectively communicate to transit riders that, just like the NYC Subway, PATH operates 24/7, provides frequent subway-style service, and accepts the pay-per-ride MetroCard. Moreover, the map only shows the six PATH stations in Manhattan, but doesn’t show any of the seven stops in New Jersey, so riders currently see no information about where PATH can take them in New Jersey.
The PATH is as much a part of New York’s transport system as the DLR in London, or the S-Bahn in Berlin. It shares four stations with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) subway system; crosses the Hudson through two tunnels (one from the Village, the other from the Battery); and provides frequent services to Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark. –One man’s mission to put New York’s secret subway back on the map, by John Elledge, CityMetric
Other Transit Maps Show Interagency Services
Interagency cooperation for the public benefit is seen elsewhere in the NY/NJ region, and in other cities. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service map prominently includes PATH service in a manner that is visually consistent with the presentation of HBLR lines.
Outside the NY & NJ region, the Philadelphia Rail Transit Map shows rapid transit services provided by two agencies: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), which operates most lines, and Delaware River Port Authority, which operates the PATCO Line connecting Philadelphia with Camden and several other points in New Jersey. In Berlin, Germany, the two agencies that run public transit services appear together on the city’s official transit map.
Including PATH on the Subway Map in a manner that better reflects its role as New York’s “second subway” improves knowledge of cross-Hudson rapid transit among 1.8 billion annual transit riders in the New York area, supports greater transit use and economic activity on both sides of the Hudson, and acknowledges the economic, cultural, and geographic ties between Manhattan and Hudson County, long-described as akin to New York City’s “sixth borough”.