Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A train by any other name

For many years we've called it the Central Corridor. But it's going to be the Green Line, and since the signs are already going up, well, it's time to make the switch.

I am kind of attached to Central, but the color system is less about what we're getting rid of, and more about what we're getting: maps. Real, beautiful, abstract, big city metro maps. I don't have the Transit Maps of the World book on my coffee table for nothing, people.

The good news is, I possess some cartography skillz myself. The bad news is, the hardest thing to map is something stylized and beautiful and unrelated to coordinates on the earth. Cheating in GIS is so difficult! For this job, we need to throw out the projections (sorry, Mercator!) and bring on the graphic designers. And when I started looking around, it seemed like these folks may already have a head start...I like where this is going!

[See this and other prototypes at Carticulate!]

And speaking of things I want to design, I am thinking about creating some transity nerd green line tshirts - something to express my localized enthusiasm, like you see in places like Toronto and New York. I'd like a shirt or a bag with every Twin Cities local* bus number printed on it. It would come with a sharpie keychain so that you could proudly cross off routes you've used, or put a heart around your favorite line. I mean, instant street cred of course, but also people might say "oh, you've been on the 64 - can you tell me where I need to transfer to catch that downtown?" Now how useful is that? We transiteers should self-identify and make ourselves useful.

Also, these shirts could double as matching uniforms for our opening day flash mob. I mean, there is going to be dancing in the streets, right?

*Sorry, suburban express riders, but this is kind of a city thing. Maybe you could make blingy seat covers or coffee cozies with your route on them?


  1. The river's 90 degree angles crack me up. -d

  2. I would totally buy a Green Line - Raymond Ave t-shirt :)

  3. I LOVE maps! And these are very exciting! I for one am impatient for the Rush Line to pick up steam. The little attention it gets on these maps, however, is indicative of its low status on the transportation funding totem pole.

  4. Green flash mob t-shirts = yes! This needs to happen.

  5. I love transit maps. The classic London Tube Map is practically a work of art as far as I'm concerned - it's my desktop background atm. Shame we'll never have those wonderfully evocative station names (except Westgate - good, powerful name, that one).

    I'm kind of rambling here. My point is that I'd gladly get a mousepad with this on it.