NYC Subwaysheds

l3x | 266 points

I have a somewhat different concern, exposed by the map and how far some places are from being well served. The map itself is great.

Will the NYC subway system ever evolve further? My mind is on Tokyo a lot lately, because of some recent visits, and also probably related I get served up a bunch of Youtube videos about how the Tokyo metro has evolved over time.

The subway system in Tokyo improved over decades by forcing interoperation of rail systems, improving control systems, building new track, unified fare systems, etc. etc.

So today you have a system where (for example), every 5 minutes, you can take a commuter train from an outer suburb that enters the city center, becomes a subway train, lines up with automated platform gates, hits every stop within seconds of expected, emerges from the subway system and continues to the airport as an airport express train.

They did this not out of some desire for some luxury level train system, but because it was necessary to support the number of people who had to rely on it as a system. Of course, they had the benefit of being a system that could change post-war, and bulldoze land that was not yet staked out and developed.

But still, is NYC's subway forever frozen in the current state of shittiness? What needs to happen / how will it happen that it ever improves from here? How is the demand for the NYC subway not turning into improvements? We're just out of money and political will I guess?

supernova87a | a year ago

Nice first pass, but its clearly calculating these as the pigeon flies and not taking the various stitched together street grids into account. You should get diamond and square shapes, not circles, for the most part. I'm working on a redesigned subway map / nomenclature an indicators of walking time to nearest stations is a subtle feature I want to build in. Something between a watershed like this and a vornoi diagram depending on which edge comes first.

IIAOPSW | a year ago

This kind of tool would be absolutely brilliant as part of Zillow.

I'd love to see various distances from properties assuming bike, or walking, or driving, etc.

Everyone who lives in a neighborhood knows these things, but it's really hard to figure it out before without traveling there and attempting some things.

bombcar | a year ago

It seems to make the assumption that you’ll get any particular train instantly. Factor in expected wait time for each line and the local/express variants and the sheds will shrink substantially.

it’ll also get confusing because the sheds will change as a function of time of day

parpfish | a year ago

I enjoyed it, nice idea and execution, it feels very intuitive.

One thing surprised me after I clicked around, I did not expect each station to become a separate browser history entry.

thih9 | a year ago

Nice visual tool but wildly optimistic. Walk times to and from stations and during transfers can eat up huge amounts of time in a commute, and that assumes trains are running well. Discounting walking to station times which clearly can't be taken into account in this tool, the transfer times between trains are also not taken into account. Transferring over from any train that is taking you up the west side to one that takes you up the east side (or vice versa) of Manhattan takes up a lot of extra time but the maps treats them as if it doesn't matter what side of the island your original train will take you.

efuquen | a year ago

This is pretty cool and well done, but perhaps a bit optimistic on the time estimates. Starting from my station, there's really no way to get to Brooklyn in 40 min. The timing seems off by 25% or so

etrautmann | a year ago

I'm not from NYC, so maybe this is obvious, but why can you not get from Staten Island to Manhattan in 40mins? Is there really not bridge/tunnel that can get you there?

dylan604 | a year ago

It would be fantastic if Google Maps and the like could take this into account when searching instead of just naively relying on distance. 2 miles away along a well-developed transit corridor is much "closer" to me than 2 miles away in a direction with no bus or rail options.

Sometimes I'd be happy to go halfway across town if I can just take a single train there and it's close by the station. Especially if it involves picking up packages or heavily items.

pimlottc | a year ago

My nitpick is even more absurd than everyone else's: the name "subwayshed" evokes watersheds, but that's not what this map shows at all! That could describe a map where you mouse over a station, and it colours the rest of the map according to what line from that station will get you there fastest (after whatever changes are necessary). Which would be even more pointless.

twic | a year ago

Interesting, and it's cool to see an illustration of how weird it is that there's no quick way to cross the park! It takes the same ballpark amount of time to get from east 86th St & 2nd to Kew Gardens (~14 miles apart) as it does to get from east 86th & 2nd to west 86th St & Broadway (~1.5 miles apart)...

mithr | a year ago

What a weirdly cool buy very niche site. Why 40 minutes? Why just NYC? Why just subways?

dgrin91 | a year ago

I'd be interested to know what the "best" stop is based on this - which station has the largest accessible area?

Times Square [0] has the most connections, but Atlantic Av [1] has better coverage of Brooklyn. Hard to tell which is larger, though.



pimlottc | a year ago

It is interesting that it shows Jamaica - 179th St to Flushing - Main St as within 40 minutes but not the inverse. More dramatic is Far Rockaway - Mott Ave to Liberty Ave.

I wonder what station has the best coverage?

adolph | a year ago

WNYC had a cool one a few years ago that also included time to get to/from stations but it seems their MapBox account isn't working anymore:

You can see what it looked like here

bovinegambler | a year ago

This is a very cool visualization!

I'm especially impressed by how it handles the local and express routes: North Brooklyn is only about 15 minutes door-to-door from Lower Manhattan on the Fulton Line[1] express A train, and the map correctly shows that. Nice work!


woodruffw | a year ago

Definitely helps to justify the Manhattan rent costs.

liminal | a year ago

Since it's Mapbox I wonder if they are using the Isochrone API[1], or if this is more custom b/c it's subways? I agree an adjustable duration of trip would be neat.

[1] -

pbw | a year ago

Love it, but UWS to Bushwick in 40 minutes - I wish!

This feels like a 10th percentile stat. Change the 10-40m range to be 15-55m and it will be closer to what I experience on a daily basis.

Great resource for visitors to NYC to set expectations.

wnolens | a year ago

very cool. but I noticed some of the stop information is incorrect. for example, the franklin stop on the C train in Brooklyn, isn't connected to the franklin stop on the shuttle.

(I live like 2 blocks from that station)

weatherlight | a year ago

A thing most people don't know about NYC is that it's real hard to get from Brooklyn to Queens without a car. This map makes that really visible, which is pretty cool.

camgunz | a year ago

Hey ! someone finally recreated !

It's about time, super useful!

yownie | a year ago

Lovely viz! I'd like to see the # of minutes as a parameter (maybe in steps of 5), and also include ferries (Staten Island is, well, an island).

elijahbenizzy | a year ago
| a year ago

What's with the weird design decision not to have more West to East lines in NYC? It can make travel very convoluted.

shmerl | a year ago

It would be interesting to incorporate the ferry times the staten island train only appears 40 min. to staten island

wnc3141 | a year ago

Neat but does not account for possible transfers - and maybe thats not a bad thing?

donohoe | a year ago

it's called an isochrone.

chillydawg | a year ago

"Unlock station hover"

throwaway2037 | a year ago

I saw something very similar to this some years back. Can't remember the site though.

mightybyte | a year ago

herald sq and grand central seem to be the maximals

fnord77 | a year ago