Three lines on the Staten Island Railroad. A subway tunnel that runs from Astoria to East Harlem. An intricate rethinking of mass transit in the Bronx.
These might sound like outlines for a drastic overhaul of New York City’s subway system. And they are -- that is, if the MTA put stops at every one of the city’s Subway restaurants, as prescribed by redditor Isaiah Bryant.
The 15-year-old from Mississauga, Canada, posted redrawn subway maps for three of the city’s five boroughs with stations where the eponymous restaurant chain has locations to Reddit. And while the maps are in good fun, it hasn’t stopped fellow Reddit users from commenting that the new lines could be better than the real things.
Bryant, a cartography and public transit fan who said he hopes to be an urban planner when he grows up, said he got the idea to start making the maps after a fellow redditor made a similar map for Waterloo, a town outside Toronto. And when he was out sick from school on Friday, he decided to fire up an online metro map creator and take a crack at it.
He started with his own hometown, since it doesn’t have its own subway system. But he didn’t stop until he had sunk most of the weekend creating maps for more than a dozen other cities across North America.
“I’ve always loved maps and public transportation and I thought it would be fun,” he said.
Of the maps (all of which have been posted on the “subwaysubway” subreddit), Staten Island’s has gotten the most response, with more than 900 upvotes in the popular NYC subreddit. The map features three lines: one that runs more or less along the current Staten Island Railroad -- with a few detours -- while another mirroring an abandoned North Shore branch and a third crosstown line from Westerleigh to redditor.
“Best thing to happen to SI since the ferry started running,” one Reditor posted.
Another added, “Amazing. And would be more effective than the SIR as is. Make Staten island dreams come true, Subway.”
Bryant made maps for the Bronx and Manhattan in the days that followed -- “Manhattan has more Subways than subway stops,” he noted -- and also has plans to create similar maps for Brooklyn and Queens.
“I love New York City,” he said. “I’ve been there three times and I want to go again.”
But once he’s done with the city, he said he has no intention of stopping with the fresh looks at city mass transit systems. He's also created maps for Syracuse, Buffalo, Plattsburgh and Milford, Connecticut and is encouraging fellow redditors to try with their own cities.
“My parents are super proud of this,” he added. “They have been very supportive and very happy that i’m doing them.”