Fixing Subway Signs
October 30, 2011

If you’ve taken the NYC subway on a weekend in the last six months, we applaud your efforts for braving the hundreds of route and time changes due to maintenance and hope you actually got where you were going, when you wanted to get there.

Even during the weekdays, the NYC subway system is a labyrinth of passages, platforms, signs, inaudible announcements, and confusing maps. The MTA is testing out a new ‘way finding’ system of maps in some of the stations, and a NYC design firm recently presented its design to improve the NYC subway maps and announcements.

According to FastCoDesign, the design firm, Original Champions of Design (OCD), has three initiatives:

Digital Signboards would be at every station to give updates on route and schedule changes, real-time. Signboards are easier to read than decipher the numerous posters stacked on the platforms, and you have a better chance of catching the notice that’s relevant to you than hearing and understanding the PA announcement.

GPS System would let you map our your route on a mobile device, either above or underground. The cool thing about this idea are the alerts you and MTA would get when you go off course. Kinon, from FastCoDesign, says that these alerts can inform the MTA where the signage is confusing so it can fix it. But if you’re using the GPS system to direct you, would you really be using the signs?

Station Maps so you can figure out where you are and where you want to be.

First Car for tourists and newbies that would have a combination of maps and souvenirs for sale. I’m guessing the tourists are just happy to get on the subway during rush hour.

Filed under: Subways — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 10:44 am

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