Boston Unveils New Map of “The T” Subway System

City Terrain, East
Monday, October 14, 2013
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Winner of New Perspectives Map Re-design Competition by Mikheil Kvrivishvili (Courtesy of MBTA/Mikheil Kvrivishvili)

Winner of New Perspectives Map Re-design Competition by Mikheil Kvrivishvili (Courtesy of MBTA/Mikheil Kvrivishvili)

Navigating Boston’s subway system, known as “The T,” will soon be a cinch with the help of a new map designed by Mikheil Kvrivishvili. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) named the Moscow-based interactive/graphic designer the winner of its “New Perspectives Map Re-design Competition” after receiving 6,837 out of the 17,045 votes cast by the public. A panel of experts—composed of MBTA officials, academics, urban planners, and cartographers—selected six finalists from a pool of dozens of applicants. Members of the public then voted online for their favorite design.

Cross Stitching by Emily Marsh (Courtesy of MBTA/Emily Marsh)

Cross Stitching by Emily Marsh (Courtesy of MBTA/Emily Marsh)

The contest called for ideas that fit within the “Classic Tier” or the “Open Tier.” The former required a more traditional approach to the MBTA rapid transit or “spider” map, whereas the latter welcomed interpretations leaning on the creative side. Kvrivishvili’s map, according to the MBTA, fulfilled a four point criteria: “creativity, aesthetic quality, readability/visual clarity, and informative quality.”

This redesign comes at a critical time when the city is planning on allocating $13 billion in infrastructure, and while MassDOT is undergoing a rapid expansion with several new stations  and a new rail line on the docket. The winning map will be updated to include the changes in the system as they are made.

“We are entering an exciting period of growth and change in our system and I’m pleased that we were able to work with the public to help usher in some exciting new developments,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott in a statement. “As we continue to grow and improve our system, the new map will be a great symbol of the changes and updates were working on as a whole.”

The maps will start popping up in new stations as soon as early 2014.

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