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A better map for the TTC?

Posted by Staff / November 21, 2012

TTC mapNow that streetcars, subways and buses are getting an overhaul, isn't it about time the TTC thought about updating some of the other things that help us all get around? Nick Caron thought so and just completed an unofficial redesign of the TTC's rapid transit map (view it larger here) along with some other tweaks like a new logo and names for RT lines.

Like many of us, Caron was deeply unsatisfied with the visual design of the current maps. He felt there was no consistency in appearance or level of information between the many maps the TTC uses in print and online. The map he's designed would be the first part of what he calls a "much simpler puzzle" and represents all the rail transit within the city including streetcars and GO transit.

He plans to create two other maps that would cover bus transit and the blue night service. He hopes the wide and ugly array currently in use can be discarded in favour of his much more efficient system that only presents information the traveller needs, when they need it.

What do you think? Would you like to see the TTC adopt this map?



Arrow / November 21, 2012 at 01:12 pm
Eglinton's LRT Weston stop doesn't meet up with the AirLink/Go Weston stop?
Picard102 / November 21, 2012 at 01:14 pm
While it may be aesthetically pleasing, to some, functionally it falls short.
bob / November 21, 2012 at 01:20 pm
The fact that this map lacks street names everywhere makes it completely useless.
Gonus / November 21, 2012 at 01:31 pm
Beautiful map, very nicely done!
Pk / November 21, 2012 at 01:37 pm
A map that combines surface routes, subway, regional GO (and all connections) is essential! I hope the TTC can adopt something like this before the beginning of the next millennium.
randyfitzimmons / November 21, 2012 at 01:38 pm
unless all those lines are subway routes, who gives a shit?
alan / November 21, 2012 at 01:38 pm
there is no black creek pioneer village, it's steeles west and the vaughan metropolitan centre is vaughan corporate centre...
Dialog / November 21, 2012 at 01:45 pm
Needs a bit more contrast between different modes; I'd thicken the subway lines.
Aaron replying to a comment from alan / November 21, 2012 at 01:55 pm
If you google it, I think you'll find that the map is correct.
Todd / November 21, 2012 at 02:05 pm
If only we could eliminate street parking and institute ROW for the 504 cars... there's the western leg of your DRL. Oh hey, do it along the 506 and there's the eastern leg.

Then we can save theoretical subway dollars for where they're need-- Scarborough. No, only kidding, a new N/S subway line, as Eglinton LRT will only serve to exacerbate existing overcrowding on that line.
Ian / November 21, 2012 at 02:22 pm
Toronto may be on an angle, but there is no reason for that map to match it. It just makes you feel like you need to tilt your head to match it.

Also, the scale seems kind of strange, but I can't put my finger on it.
Pk replying to a comment from Ian / November 21, 2012 at 02:27 pm
Plotting the map at a slight angle allows for more horizontal space. The scale/street layout is probably distorted to allow for even spacing (better legibility) between stations.
John / November 21, 2012 at 02:36 pm
Pretty strange way to represent Union Station

However, I do agree that the TTC map should be updated, and should include all rail based transportation, as well as 'bus rapid transit' where it does exist. Its not like we don't have plenty of room on the subway map to show some more useful information. If you only want to take subways, just ignore the other lines.
iSkyscraper / November 21, 2012 at 02:44 pm
No question current maps are a complete joke:

- streetcars appear as buses on system guide
- no line maps appear on any rail vehicles
- subway map squished impossibly on y-axis because of over-door placement on subway cars
- GO ignored

This map is a nice fix. But it needs to be developed in the exact proportions that fit the ad panels on subway cars near doors, in station and bus shelter map displays, and behind the driver on streetcars.

Also, a version of this map should be made for each line as a "line map" to go over the doors on streetcars and subways.

Will Byford listen to people on maps? How do we get his attention?

Franco / November 21, 2012 at 03:09 pm
The idea is great, and the TTC should do something like this.
Al / November 21, 2012 at 03:17 pm
A good start but needs some tweaking. For instance, there is no indication where you would need a transfer. Look at St. Andrew station and you wouldn't realize that the streetcars don't come into the station.
sezme / November 21, 2012 at 03:34 pm
It's pretty good. I'd like to see this done with the current routes. But, to be truly useful, it needs to include major streets for context, and stops along the streetcar line, because people who need maps are people who don't already know how the system works. And if they don't know how it works, they would probably like to know where they can get on and off. Also, how to transfer.
Nick Caron / November 21, 2012 at 03:41 pm
Thanks for all your comments, I'm always interested in hearing feedback so I can improve.

@bob Not many rapid transit maps in the world have street names, these kinds of maps are mostly used to show connections between routes. It's not a great trial to add some labels though, so I might.

@iSkyscraper Placing these in the ad panels was actually my intent, the remainder of the panel would probably contain information like connecting bus routes. I have some line diagrams for above the doors as well. I agree with you an all those points.

@Al I wasn't sure if walking up to the street for a transfer was important enough to indicate on the map. Keep in mind that most cities in the world don't even have stations where streetcars pull into them, but I'll think about changing this.
Deric / November 21, 2012 at 03:49 pm
I think a lot of people are missing what this map is meant to be. Not a system map, but a map to replace those black background ones we see on the subways that show the subway only.
alan replying to a comment from Aaron / November 21, 2012 at 04:12 pm
google is wrong...currently the construction plans call for steeles west and vaughan corporate centre...

i do have a copy of those construction plans...
Nick Caron replying to a comment from alan / November 21, 2012 at 04:19 pm
The commission recently voted to change the perfectly sensible "Steeles West" station to the completely ridiculous "Black Creek Pioneer Village". You may be correct about VCC/VMC. They both irritate me to be honest.
Harjas / November 21, 2012 at 04:19 pm
How come Mississauga doesn't get any love.. with the subway not expanding from Kipling to Sq1?
Jose replying to a comment from randyfitzimmons / November 21, 2012 at 04:55 pm
I agree.
Jose replying to a comment from randyfitzimmons / November 21, 2012 at 04:56 pm
Update the map 100 years from now, when the city finally decides to extend the subway system.
W. K. Lis / November 21, 2012 at 05:04 pm
Streetcar routes, streetcars right-of-way routes, and the LRT should each be given their own representation for lines.
Fred McGriff / November 21, 2012 at 05:58 pm
Hey, cool shitty new map, loser.
n / November 21, 2012 at 06:39 pm
what's the point of including future lines and stops on the map? I'll believe it when I see it. 2020? Probably 2030 with all the delays and cost overruns and so on.
bob replying to a comment from Nick Caron / November 21, 2012 at 06:42 pm
Streetcars and LRT are not rapid transit. You say you want to "show connections between routes" but those streetcar lines cross without any indication as to where they cross and if it's a transferable route. They are just lines on the screen that are completely meaningless.
B / November 21, 2012 at 07:01 pm
Great initiative! I think the hierarchy of modes could be clearer -- as mentioned different representation (e.g. solid vs dashed line) for subway and LRT but both top-tier (e.g. same thickness). The current variation in line thickness is not easy to detect. Notches instead of points at stations can be easier to read. Different representations for subway & LRT stations, GO connections and GO stations seems unnecessary.
Rob R. replying to a comment from Fred McGriff / November 21, 2012 at 07:02 pm
Hey, cool shitty new comment, loser. Come up with something constructive next time, okay?

I think that this map would be a fantastic upgrade from the current transit maps, but some people have some very good points, indication of required transfers would be quite useful among other features.
Rick / November 21, 2012 at 08:54 pm
Way too much vision here. It will never fly.
Jean / November 21, 2012 at 09:11 pm
Toronto transit map:
J replying to a comment from bob / November 21, 2012 at 09:52 pm
"LRT' is not rapid transit"
GraemeS / November 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm
Very nice Nick. Here's one I did a few years ago - albeit imperfect - trying to address some of the same issues.

matt / November 21, 2012 at 10:32 pm
@ Nick Caron - Just putting this out there, but why does ALL of the service stop at 1:30? In my opinion, the lines should stop running at different times; I believe 1:30 is appropriate for a lot of the the system, however in areas, especially with a high concentration of bars or much nightlife, the subway should have extended service (say 2:30 am) for Fridays and Saturdays to help people get home safely. Thoughts?
Viktor / November 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm
I doubt this will ever happen but I love this Map! I really like it.
acv66 replying to a comment from Harjas / November 22, 2012 at 01:53 am
ask the dictator that was ran the city why. when she dies i bet a shit storm of corruption comes out
Sean M. replying to a comment from J / November 22, 2012 at 03:23 am
LRT = "Light RAIL Transit"

How rapid it is depends on how you implement it. LRT in Calgary and Edmonton (and a lot of cities elsewhere) is rapid transit. Run it in medians with closely-spaced stops and poor-to-no signal priority, not so rapid.
German replying to a comment from Nick Caron / November 22, 2012 at 08:07 am
Great job Nick. Many of us feel the need for an upgrade of that map. I think it's nice, clean and gives a clear vision. But it does look like another transit map of a big city. I would suggest to add some localism, like the use the typography very TTC that I found gives to the system a very local particular flavor, that 1940's. The Rocket app for iphone uses it and I found fanastic. You know it's a Toronto Transit map.
The logo was a good attempt to aggiornamiento... to renew it. The actual one it's actually very difficult to read the TTC letters.
Keep up the work!
Lxpatterson / November 22, 2012 at 08:18 am
Nice map. The 512 west is actually not exactly correct. It ends somewhere between runnymede and keele (goes over the train lines)
Thomas / November 22, 2012 at 09:15 am
I love these fantasy maps... If only.
Jason Paris replying to a comment from Arrow / November 22, 2012 at 11:38 am
This map isn't fantasy though, it's reality. Well, assuming Hudak isn't elected.
B replying to a comment from bob / November 22, 2012 at 11:43 am
It is simple to figure out the the streets based on the station name and using the connecting subway line station. This map is quite readable and adding street names everywhere would give the majority a headache.
Mark G / November 22, 2012 at 11:48 am
Pape Station will be accessible in 2013.
P-King / November 22, 2012 at 11:52 am
A thoeretical: what if we extended the 512 to the Eglinton Crosstown or down to the Bloor line (with an ROW)?
tony / November 22, 2012 at 06:05 pm
Points for trying. I am not sure that it fills a particular need. With this much detail - i'd go all the way and look at a ride guide. On a subway? I'd say no thanks what is the is fine.
Gil / November 22, 2012 at 08:26 pm
I don't know if this is a revision, but the stations with streetcars entering the fare-paid zone are shown in red (other than Dundas West and Union which are also intermodal transfer stations) while the rest of the stations are in black.

I guess I'm a bit of a stickler for accuracy, the stations on the Spadina line don't exactly line up with their Yonge counterparts north of Eglinton aside from Finch/Finch West. The Eglinton Line through Scarborough doesn't line up with the Danforth subway. I'm not even sure if all of those stations will eventually get built. Abit of artistic license perhaps?

As for the naming of the Airlink, I'm hoping they have a naming contest for something a bit less generic. Yes it links downtown to the airport, but if I'm at the airport, what is it linking to? I'd like to suggest the UPLink (hyphenate it if you will) as in Union-Pearson Link. It sounds vaguely technical/futuristic and somewhat implies a quick, direct link.

You could also use the not-often-published route numbers for the subway lines: 1 YUS, 2 BD, 3 SRT, 4 Sheppard. I don't know what they have planned for the LRT lines, but they're going to run into a bit of resistance renumbering the 5 AVENUE RD., 6 BAY and 7 BATHURST if they continue this pattern!

The watermarked rivers are a nice touch, but you're missing the west branch of the Don which gives us Hogg's Hollow, Earl Bales Park and the G. Ross Lord Reservoir.
Lilian replying to a comment from tony / November 22, 2012 at 08:49 pm
You've never seen ride guides for NY and DC's transit system?....
Ben Smith replying to a comment from Sean M. / November 22, 2012 at 09:53 pm
Pretty much this. The only LRT lines which could qualify as "light rapid transit" are Eglinton through midtown and the Scarborough LRT. The rest are not much Moreton high capacity buses on rails.
Ben Smith / November 22, 2012 at 09:57 pm
In fairness, limited stop buses. But that is because the current stop spacing is so absurd in the first place, and could easily be similar to these LRTs on local routes now.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Jose / November 24, 2012 at 04:18 am
They won't be-I think that the DRL and the extension to Vaughn will probably be it, with only a few more LRT lines built.
Dan Levy / November 26, 2012 at 02:22 pm
That the mention of University-Spadina is just gone from the Yonge line is downright silly. Bloor I can understand dropping Danforth because for the most part it is straightforward as it is a direct continuation of the street on surface routes. Spadina & University, however, do not extend from Yonge and are parallel to it which makes this map quite confusing to a tourist/visitor/infrequent transit user.

Further, I have always advocated changing the color of the University-Spadina part of the YUS line to differ from the Yonge section. This would again make it easier for tourists/infrequent users because referencing the lines when giving directions would be as simple as naming a color.
Luke Mildenhall-Ward replying to a comment from Nick Caron / November 27, 2012 at 02:45 am
Nick, ignore the idiotic comments. This may not be perfect but it's still a big improvement over the current maps. And I'm not even sure if perfection is possible. Add too much information and it becomes unreadable. There's a subjective balance between the two.
Johnathan / February 23, 2014 at 10:54 am
What about the DRL subway line... downtown relief line I mean??
Johnathan / February 23, 2014 at 10:54 am
would be nice if you remake this map including the DRL which i guess might be orange or red or wutever colour u think will it be in the future
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