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MTA's new map lets you watch trains move in real time

It's like the Uber app for subway trains.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

A lot of us might not be taking the subway right now, but the MTA just unveiled a sweet new map that shows the system in real-time, down to where each subway car is.

The map, which is in beta right now, at is a cleaner version of the one you're used to seeing inside the subway cars — the line you choose stands out in its assigned color amid the others, which stay gray. The stations and the lines they serve along the route pop up against the white backdrop of the city. (At 9pm, the map's background dims to black to show nighttime service.)

The status of the line's service comes up in the upper left-hand corner and shows whether there are service changes, which is helpful when planning your route so you don't have to rely on those paper postings at stations. You can also see if a station has elevators and escalators and whether they are currently working.

If you zoom in close, you can actually see the subway cars move like little toys along a track or like the car icons on the Uber app.

New MTA map
Photograph: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

The new map is the first major redesign of the subway map in 40 years, according to Curbed, which first reported the unveiling. Work & Co. designed it by combining two different versions into one. Now, it replaces the Weekender guide and maybe even the MyMTA app for some.

"It was just after I had a meeting to review complaints that people couldn’t understand our service changes," Sarah Meyer, the MTA’s chief customer officer, told Curbed. "I was really new to the organization, and I also couldn’t understand the service changes! And I said, 'I need a map.'"

Work & Co. certainly delivered. Play around with it — it's fun to see the trains moving and get a pulled back view of the entire system.

New MTA map
Photograph: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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