The MTA (New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority), through its advertising agency, commissioned Waterhouse Cifuentes Design to develop a system to inform its ridership of Planned Work diversions for the subway. The recent subway repair work has changed the riding habits of millions of commuters who take full advantage of the system 24 hours a day, across 472 stations. Until now, the notifications have been ad hoc at best, leaving many frustrated riders.
The clear communication of diversions due to continual maintenance is an essential task and requires a clear means of addressing a wide variety of situations, from general messages to one-way service and re-routes; a directory summarizing all diversions for weekday and weekend service; local platform signage; brochures; elevator, escalator and turnstile notices; emergency alerts; DOT shuttle signage; calendars and more. Millions use the subway daily.
There were three goals: “To clarify messages through consistent use of a simple visual vocabulary to illustrate it based upon of the Subway Diagram; to apply that vocabulary to a rigorous but flexible grid system employed uniformly across all documents; and to build documents efficiently by designing interchangeable files driven by editors and designers working in tandem, also generating entire packages of consistently-structured documents automatically from an existing live feed.”
Waterhouse Cifuentes Design’s latest version of the diagram was the official map used for the grand opening of the Second Avenue Subway this year. The expanded design for Planned Work will help clarify communications for an increasingly flourishing system. The firm has also compiled the entire system into a manual of graphic standards to ensure continuous proper implementation.
Beginning with the directory, the new MTA design system will gradually be introduced to riders.
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