Taken right from Second Ave. Sagas. I used to watch this (yes, the show is that old) though not obsessively (I was above the “target demo”) but even I forget how New York-centric it was. Is it still? I mean, there is no other subway in the country where you can take the express (“it will go right by your local address!”).
And the crack about the heat? Yep, most cars weren’t air-conditioned back in the day (1970s).
The author learns what many of us already knew: NYC, especially in terms of transit use, is so far out of scale with the rest of the country that it’s almost meaningless to include them in studies like this. I’ve talked about this before. Just leave NYC out and then you can say something about the rest of … whatever you’re talking about.
I’ll stipulate right up front that including the NYCTA in this is silly. Four hundred and sixty-eight stations on ten lines served by 24 different services is seriously different from any other rapid transit system in the USA. So just ignore it.
On the subject of WMATA’s DC Metro (which at least has different services running along the same lines going to different termini) I really don’t understand the move towards directional signage. As the article says, their system isn’t cartesian, it’s more like spaghetti; what does “westbound” even mean? And when you’re in DC’s CBD, you’re underground anyway.
Seems to me that pointing to a service’s terminal is the simplest way. If a passenger is trying to navigate, they can see where they have to get off (Quincy Center, say) by comparing where they are (Harvard Square) to where they need to be and then following that line to its end to see which direction they need to go based on the terminal. Yes, this assumes a line chart or map in the station but you have to give a few hints. So you go to the platform marked “To Braintree” and get on a train that goes to the same place (not on one marked Ashmont!).
Sometimes not enough attention is paid to wayfinding but I don’t see how moving from terminal names to directions is going to help.