WMATA has released its next Metrorail map, proposed to go into trains and stations in time for the Silver Line to open.


Proposed new map. Image by Lance Wyman for WMATA.



A new map is necessary to fit the complete Silver Line, which will run all the way through downtown DC and into Prince George’s County. The existing Metrorail map just shows the portion of the Silver Line that’s currently under construction, but the route will actually join with the Orange Line and run through DC.

The new map will also show Phase 2 of the Silver Line, extending all the way to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County. Phase 2 won’t open for several more years, but work on it recently started, and showing it on the map will help riders to become familiar with it sooner rather than later.

The new map incorporates several of the elements proposed in designer Lance Wyman’s draft from March, which was then refined in May. The new map is Wyman’s most graceful and streamlined yet.

Wyman narrowed the line thickness, lightened the station symbols, and changed the placement of the Silver Line in central DC, to be between the Blue and Orange Lines rather that atop them both.

The “whiskers” at stations where the 3 lines all share track are now white instead of solid black. The “pill” option for those shared stations, from the May draft, has been abandoned.

Overall, these changes make the map lighter and airier-looking, compared the March draft which was clunky and cluttered, especially in the DC core.

One thing missing from this map is DC’s H Street streetcar, which should open for service about the same time as the Silver Line. Although the streetcar won’t be operated by WMATA, it will certainly be an important rail service in the District.

As streetcar and BRT plans throughout the region move forward, WMATA may want to follow Boston’s lead, and show surface transit on its map as well.

But that’s a problem for another day.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.