Sunday, December 16, 2007

Moving from Colors to Numbers

I've been noticing as part of the space race that most cities operate their rail lines in a color system, meaning each line has a color. A good national goal should be to get cities off of the color system and to numbers and letters like New York City. Why? Because if you have numbers and letters that means you probably have more options. There are a limited amount of colors to use for light rail lines. ROY G BIV comes to mind but of course there are others in between. In Austin you could have a burnt orange line. However if you have a color system, it most likely means there aren't a lot of choices of places to go in the city. If lines are as prolific as most bus systems, I think we'll start to see good things happen. What do you all think? Is this a good goal?

8 comments:

Frank from OR said...

I would actually love to see more names, a la the London Tube: Hammersmith and City, Elephant and Castle, Waterloo, etc. They're so distinctive and evocative.

Steve said...

Abandoning colors is more of a metric than a goal, but yeah, it would indicate steps in the right direction. Don't anyone hold your breath, but Washington's Metro is working on creating two new lines: Silver (new track, new stations) and pink (no new track, no new stations). I don't think we're running out of colors that fast.

Justin said...

I do not see anything wrong with using colours. Sometimes it is easier for people to recgonize, and remember a colour.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I like the names idea. As long as the destinations are recognizable. In the Bay Area they use the ends of the line to announce which train is coming. This can be a bit disconcerting for folks who don't live in the area and have no idea where Pittsburgh/Bay Point is located. Perhaps this is a metric rather than a goal.

petrichor said...

not to mention folks whole grew up and still reside in the bay area not knowing where Pittsburg/Bay Point is. :)

j said...

sadly i think the number/ letter idea is a long way off for most of the sunbelt. however i did notice the other day that the Lynx here in Charlote is also reffered to as Cats route 501. I do have some good news- the unexpected high ridership on the line (consistently above 12,000) means the ridership projections for the other lines will be increased, hopefully resulting in more federal dollars.

DSK said...

I think for a large system, a hybrid like NYC makes sense: colors for grouping of multiple lines, then numbers and letters for routes. And add to that shapes around the numbers if you are as big as NYC.

Rob said...

The names on the rail lnies have always bugged me. In DC places like Viena, Shady Grove, Franconia, Huntington get all the attention since they're at the end of the lines. I always thought the places the lines go through should get some credit.

And I think color lines would help bus routes considerably.