NYC Subway Maps Have a Long History of Including PATH, NJ Waterfront

Subway NY NJ proposes more prominently displaying ‘New York’s second subway”–PATH to New Jersey–on the NYC Subway map, for a better map of transit in the NY & NJ urban core. There’s a precedent for this idea: subway maps in New York City have a long history of including the Hudson Waterfront and subway connections between New York and New Jersey.

Although the Hudson & Manhattan railroad (the precursor to PATH) was still under construction and revenue service wouldn’t begin until 1908, the 1906 Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) map showed the New Jersey waterfront, with Hoboken and Jersey City labeled, and ferry routes connecting NY & NJ:

IRT 1906 subway map

After the IRT, BMT, and Independent Subway System (IND) were consolidated into a single system, the 1944 NYC Board of Transportation map included the Jersey City waterfront, H&M lines labeled “Hudson Tubes (to Newark)”, stations in Manhattan, and Exchange Place station in New Jersey:

1944 board of transportation map

This 1950 NYC Board of Transportation map shows the Hudson & Manhattan railroad and New Jersey waterfront in much the same way as the proposed Subway NY NJ map:

1950 board of transportation map

A 1968 map produced by the Irving Trust Company displayed the PATH Tubes, and stations represented with black dots, but did not include labels containing station names. It also included an unlabeled outline of the Hudson Waterfront:

1968 irving trust map

The 1969 New York City Transit Authority map didn’t show PATH tubes and stations, but did display the Hudson waterfront, labeled “New Jersey”:

1969 nycta map

New Jersey and PATH were excluded from the 1972 map designed by Massimo Vignelli. A small portion of the Hudson Waterfront, labeled “New Jersey” reappeared on the 1979 map, and was on the map as recently as 1987:

1987 MTA Subway Map

Bringing it back, and improving how PATH is represented, will give 1.8 billion annual transit riders a more complete picture of rail rapid transit service in the urban core of New York and New Jersey.

On the SubChat website, Michael549 commented:

The “Subway Map” is not “just the subways”, but an opportunity to provide a means for telling folks how to get about the city. In recent years the MAP has called it, “The Map”. In any case, the “subway map” has for decades been a well used representation of the city. It provides a means for folks to try and figure out where they are, and where they want to go. Which of course has lead to countless arguments about what to include, how to include it or depict it, what not to include, etc. Inside the Transit Museum there are displays about how the “subway map” has changed over the decades. This particular argument is about how to include and depict the PATH system. On one level it is really not that far removed from arguments in the past about what should or should not appear on the maps. Anyone remember past subway maps where only a particular company’s routes were shown on “their maps”- the IND only maps, the IRT only maps, the BMT only maps? Anyone remember the complaints over the shape of Central Park in previous maps? The MAP is not just about the subway, but about the ability to help folks navigate their way around the city – that is the real important goal to not lose sight of.

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