Boston invites designs for new
public transport map

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Boston invites designs for new public transport map

News: Boston's public transport authority has launched a competition to redesign the city's subway map.

From now until the end of April, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is accepting submissions to transform the map's cramped layout into a more user-friendly design.

The competition has already proved controversial due to the terms and conditions of entry stating that the transit authority owns the entire copyright of all submissions – a detail criticised as "insulting" by Australian graphic designer Cameron Booth.

"If the MBTA likes my ideas for their map — and they've surely seen enough of my body of work to know that it's good — then they can bloody well pay me for it," wrote Booth in a blog post, as reported by online magazine The Atlantic Cities.

Booth's extensive portfolio of map designs includes a diagram of the American interstate road system in the style of the London Tube map.

Boston invites designs for new public transport map

Above: the current "spider map"

Entries to the competition will be judged on their creativity, aesthetic quality, clarity and usefulness, and the winning designs will be announced in mid-May as part of National Transportation Week.

We've featured lots of map designs on Dezeen, including dinner plates that collectively form a map of France's Michelin-starred restaurants and a London Tube map redesigned to be geographically accurate – see all maps.

Projects in Boston we've published include Renzo Piano's wing for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and a branch of skin and haircare brand Aesop that uses wooden cornices as shelving.

  • milk badchoice

    I can’t agree more with the comments, can’t believe that nowadays (and in a modern city like Boston) someone might think it’s acceptable to have a competition on those terms. Owning all the works presented? So you pay for one project but get thousands in return? PLEASE wake up people. Actually, is it me or do I not see a prize at all for the winner? So scrap that, you pay for NOTHING and get lots of proposals, that’s just genius.

  • bolatitoo

    Why does that look like DC’s?

  • Brian

    Just hire these guys. They already figured it out. http://www.stonebrowndesign.com/boston-t-time.htm

    • Lohen Grinn

      I was going to say copy the London Tube map but that works too ; )

  • rich

    Thanks brian – those times scale T maps are amazing!