The New York City subway map is a diagram that shows the routes, stations and services of the subway system in New York City. The subway map is an essential tool for navigating the city’s public transportation network, as well as a cultural icon and a work of art.
History and Design
The first subway map was created in 1904, when the first subway line opened in Manhattan. Since then, the map has undergone many changes and revisions, reflecting the expansion and evolution of the subway system and the city itself.
The current official subway map was designed by Michael Hertz Associates, a graphic design firm, in 1979. It is based on an earlier version by Massimo Vignelli, an Italian designer, who created a simplified and geometric map in 1972. The Hertz map retains some of the features of the Vignelli map, such as the use of color-coded lines and symbols, but also incorporates more realistic elements, such as curves, angles and geographic landmarks.
The Hertz map is updated regularly to show new or modified services, stations and routes. The latest version of the map was released in June 2020, which includes the addition of the Second Avenue Subway line and the reopening of several stations after renovations.
NYC Subway Map PDFNYC-Subway-Map
Features and Functions
The subway map has several features and functions that help users to plan their trips and find their way around the city. Some of these features are:
- The map shows all the subway lines and services that operate in New York City, as well as some regional rail lines that connect to the subway system.
- The map uses different colors to distinguish between different subway lines and services. For example, blue lines represent A, C and E trains; red lines represent 1, 2 and 3 trains; green lines represent 4, 5 and 6 trains; and so on.
- The map also uses different shapes and symbols to indicate different types of stations and services. For example, white circles represent local stations; black circles represent express stations; white diamonds represent rush hour express stations; black diamonds represent rush hour local stations; S symbols represent shuttle services; LIRR symbols represent Long Island Rail Road stations; MNR symbols represent Metro-North Railroad stations; NJT symbols represent New Jersey Transit stations; PATH symbols represent Port Authority Trans-Hudson stations; SI symbols represent Staten Island Railway stations; AIR symbols represent AirTrain JFK stations; BXM symbols represent Bronx-Manhattan express bus stops; QM symbols represent Queens-Manhattan express bus stops; SIM symbols represent Staten Island-Manhattan express bus stops.
- The map also shows some geographic features, such as rivers, islands, parks, bridges and tunnels. These features help users to orient themselves and locate their destinations in relation to the subway system.
- The map also provides some additional information, such as service alerts, emergency updates, accessible stations, neighborhood maps, regional transit diagrams, text maps for individual lines and service guides.
Availability and Accessibility
The subway map is available in various formats and languages for different purposes and audiences. Some of these formats are:
- The printed subway map, which is distributed for free at subway stations, tourist information centers and other locations. The printed map is also available in large type for people with low vision.
- The online subway map, which can be accessed on the MTA website1 or on the MTA Live Subway Map2, a digital version that shows real-time, nighttime and weekend subway routes, train arrival times and service alerts.
- The mobile subway map, which can be downloaded as an app on smartphones or tablets. The app allows users to zoom in and out, search for stations or addresses, get directions and see nearby attractions.
- The multilingual subway map, which is available in several languages other than English, such as Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Bengali and Arabic. The multilingual map can be found on the MTA website3 or requested at subway stations.