Changes at the MTA are really on track now.
The new design, intended to simplify the map and improve readability, depicts Manhattan taller and 30 percent wider than the former map, while Staten Island's size has been halved. The other three boroughs will grow as well, although not as significantly as Manhattan, because the "service guide" at the bottom of the map has been eliminated.
The intent, says the MTA, is to better illustrate Manhattan's sometimes overwhelming subway network.
“In its desire to be complete and provide a great deal of information, it took away from some of the clarity you would have with a simpler map,” MTA chairman Jay Walder told the Times of the old map.
A million and a half copies of the new map will be distributed in June. A simplified version of the map will appear inside subway trains themselves, without details such as neighborhood names and ferry and bus lines.
The old MTA map, which has become a New York icon, had "humanity," opined Eddie Jabbour, designer of Kick Map, an alternative subway map for the iPhone, but "the MTA map is an artifact of its time, and its time was 1979," he told the Times.
This is the first major overhaul to the map in 20 years.
See a .pdf of the map here.