Thursday, May 5, 2016

SUBWAYS | Mastering the Métro

London Underground. The Underground (Tube) map is masterfully designed, showing the basic Circle Line grid in its logo. Since I first entered the Tube in 1947, the Circle Line has been my main orientation. Crossing through from west to east is the Central Line. I think of all the other lines as shortcuts or extensions.

Paris Metro.  The London Tube logo can be superimposed on the Paris Métro, with the 2 (Blue) line from Étoile to Nation for the northern half of the circle and the 6 (Green) line for the southern half. The equivalent of the Central Line would be the 1 (Yellow) line from La Défense to Château de Vincennes.

New York City Subway. For NYC, the London logo could be rotated a quarter turn to make the Greek letter phi - Φ. The vertical blue line then indicates the main Manhattan north-south subway lines, the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A and C. The left side of the circle would be the PATH trains and the east side would be the network of trains to Queens and Brooklyn. Visitors mainly need to know the simple north-south (Bronx to Brooklyn) grid, because most cross-town trips in Manhattan are walkable:
  • The 1, 2 and 3 trains go up the West Side (the 1 is a local). 
  • The 4, 5 and 6 trains go up the East Side (the 6 is a local). 
  • The A and C (local)  trains outflank the 1, 2 and 3 trains until Central Park; then they hug the Park.

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