Home U.S NYC's first-ever digital subway map shows trains moving in real time

NYC's first-ever digital subway map shows trains moving in real time


NYC’s MTA releases America’s first-ever digital subway map that allows users to see their trains move in real time

  • The new Live Subway Map was released by New York City’s MTA on Tuesday  
  • One feature of the map is that users can see their trains move in real time  
  • The digital subway map was created pro bono by digital design firm Work & Co 
  • There isn’t an app to host the map yet but users can access it using their browser 

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has revealed America’s first-ever digital subway map that allows users to see trains move in real time. 

The map is probably the most significant update to the city’s subway map since the 1970s. 

MTA Chief Sarah Feinberg announced the release of the Live Subway Map during a press conference Tuesday morning. 

Feinberg said the map ‘will allow our riders to better plan their trips, saving time and making the subway more user friendly and convenient than ever’. 

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has revealed America's first-ever digital subway map (pictured) that allows users to see trains move in real time

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has revealed America’s first-ever digital subway map (pictured) that allows users to see trains move in real time

The live map (left) is probably the most significant update to the city's subway map since the 1970s. The previous version of the map is seen on the right

The live map (left) is probably the most significant update to the city’s subway map since the 1970s. The previous version of the map is seen on the right 

Feinberg also noted that the map is ‘absolutely unique. We know that this is a map that’s the first of its kind in North America. We believe it may be the first of its kind globally’.

One of the best aspects of the live map is the animation of the trains. Customers who use the map can see their train moving down the tracks on each subway line. 

Feinberg then said that the map is important for bringing riders back to the subway. 

‘We need to continue to do this kind of work to modernize mass transit in New York City. The MTA is the key to the regional economy,’ Feinberg said. 

‘Tools like this just make us better and make our riders ready to come back. Without world class transportation, New York cannot rebound from the pandemic,’ she added. 

The map was brought to life by digital design firm, Work & Co. The company started looking into the creation of such a map about 18 months ago after being asked by the MTA’s chief customer officer, Sarah Meyer.

Meyer revealed on Tuesday that Work and Co completed the project pro bono.

‘They have simplified an incredibly complex system in a way we’ve never seen before. In doing so, they join a long line of trailblazers who have changed and improved the map,’ Meyer said. 

MTA Chief Sarah Feinberg announced the release of the Live Subway Map during a press conference Tuesday morning. Feinberg (pictured) also noted that the map is the 'first of its kind in North America'

MTA Chief Sarah Feinberg announced the release of the Live Subway Map during a press conference Tuesday morning. Feinberg (pictured) also noted that the map is the ‘first of its kind in North America’

For now, there is no app for the new map

Commuters can plan out their trips with it using their mobile browser

For now, there is no app for the new map. But commuters can plan out their trips with it using their mobile browser

‘They’ve also shown how much New York benefits when world class design and technology firms partner with critical public institutions,’ Meyer added. 

Meyer was referring to the Great Subway Map War of 1978 between Italian graphic designer Massimo Vignelli and cartographer John Tauranac.

During that time, some favored Vignelli’s design modernist, diagrammatic map of New York City’s transit system while others favored Tauranac’s more geographic version, according to The Verge. 

Meyer also said the new map will replace The Weekender app, which the MTA uses to display Saturday and Sunday schedule changes.

Felipe Memoria, who led the project at Work & Co, explained the map on Tuesday, saying that it was ‘imperative’ for the digital map to have independent lines per train and also geography, thus combining Vignelli and Tauranac’s designs. 

‘We realized at some point that the reason this was not possible before is because those maps were printed. Now with digital we could actually get the best of both worlds,’ Memoria added. 

For now, there is no app for the new map. But commuters can plan out their trips with it using their mobile browser 

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