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NYCT-Style Fantasy Manhattan Bus Map

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I've been seeing fantasy subway maps, but no bus maps. So as a bus fanatic, I decided to change that by creating a fantasy bus map. This one is Manhattan because I found its grid template to be the easiest of all five boroughs.


Like the LIB fantasy map from Amtrak, this, too, was done in Illustrator. The way I did it was that I took screenshots of the maps and put them together in its actual bus map size.


Because it's in PDF form, and exporting the file as a JPEG changes the color scheme, I'm presenting the link to the bus map, which is here: http://sites.google.com/site/midnightrts/home/mta-fantasy-maps


Change of color:

1. The M27 is in light green instead of blue.

2. The Q32 and Bx33 routes are dark blue now instead of light green.

3. The M1 is in light blue to make the 5th Avenue line look a little cleaner to see (the same reason as the M27).

4. The Q101 and Q60 (in orange) are split to show their proper terminals.


Bus ideas.

1. The M89 (orange): an inspiration from NX Express's M87 idea, but with one difference: The M89 goes down and up Central Park West.

2. The M41 (purple): The old Culture Loop.

3. The M1 (cyan) ends at 8th Street and uses its current post-cut weekday route (the route is full-time, and its 106th Street terminal is canned).

4. The South Ferry branch is compensated by an M12 (red). It goes from South Ferry to Grand Central via Park Avenue South.

5. The M9 (purple) returns to its current route, and its current route is renumbered the M19 (orange). But it also compensates the old M21 Bellevue terminal.

6. The M18 (red) is extended to W. 193 St.

7. The addition of SBS stops on the M15.

8. School-trips of the M86 and M96 on the map. (The old M96 school-tripper had the bus going to E. 100th Street and 1st Avenue.)

9. An 11th Avenue/West Street limited, the M97 (orange). This bus goes from Battery Park City to Columbia University.

10. The M61 (blue). This bus goes to LaGuardia in Queens and Riverbank Park in Manhattan.

11. Like the other maps, the part-time routes have tints of their original colors instead of solid with white inside.

12. The M106 (light green) is full-time.

13. The M7 (cyan) and M104 (purple) travel down Broadway again.


The map isn't done and needs a bit of cleaning, but I want you to see the progress thus far.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Some changes in my fantasy map!


1. Added limited stops.


2. To correspond with the +SBS colors, the M15 and Bx12 are now in cyan.


3. The colors are given a "purer" look. In other words, aside from browns, the colors are using two of the CMY gamut with black to "shade" the color.


4. The light blue routes are shaded to differnetiate with the SBS.


5. To go in conjunction with the new map, some of the crosstown routes were recolored.


The update isn't all that clean, and I'm missing some fonts, which is why it looks like this. Nonetheless, have fun looking at the progress. :)


Edit: Here's the link: https://sites.google.com/site/midnightrts/home/mta-fantasy-maps (It's map "2A.")

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I love it!!

Are you planning to do with October 10th, 2010 copy too?

Thanks. :P


And, yes, I plan to do one similar to the October 2010 one someday. And what I may do is add another route color to separate the routes more, maybe brown. Or brand a color for Super-Limiteds like the proposed Q94 (and the cyan that I put in for the SBS for my fantasy map).


One other idea I put in is group colors via depot, like this.


a. 100: red

b. 126: orange

c. MJQ: blue

d. MHV: green

e. AMS: violet

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Problematic near the depots, as there would be a one-color mess.


That would be a problem. Try not to get the trunks the same color (i.e. don't make every 5 Av bus purple), because that gets confusing. If you want, you could split the colors by service type, but that works better in the outer boroughs.


Did you trace over the NYCT map, or how did you make this?

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Problematic near the depots, as there would be a one-color mess.
That's true, especially if I went ahead and designed the SI map: three depots with Charleston coming. And it'll become even more problematic because some routes split depots. That's why I didn't go forward with this.


If you want, you could split the colors by service type, but that works better in the outer boroughs.
I don't get that part (that area I bolded).


Did you trace over the NYCT map, or how did you make this?
I traced over the original map. I opened the original map in Acrobat and, viewing it at 100%, took selected screenshots of several sections. Then, I put the images in Illustrator and traced it over.
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  • 2 months later...

Bumping the thread for an update on the map.


1. Changed the thickness of the SBS strokes back to two points.


2. The names of neighborhoods and used streets added.


3. Eliminated the M61.


Here's the link: https://sites.google.com/site/midnightrts/home/mta-fantasy-maps (The name is: Manhattan Fantasy Bus Map 2A(2).pdf)

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Yes, the original M41 was the special Culture Loop Bus I. Back in its' day, you could board for $1 and get on or off at any of the culture stops around the loop as often as you liked. Brooklyn had the B88 (Culture Loop II) and The Bronx had the BX56 (Culture Loop III).

So the M41 is basically a loop bus...not bad.


Do you plan on giving your weekday-only routes pentagon symbols as well?

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