NEW: Winnipeg Rapid Transit Map

You are probably familiar with the London Underground “tube map”. Even people who have never been to London have probably seen it in a magazine or on the internet somewhere.

tubemap-2012-12The iconic map designed by Harry Beck in 1931 sacrificed geographical accuracy in favour of clarity and ease of use, and it has become the standard for rapid transit maps world-wide ever since.

There have been attempts to improve upon the time-tested Beck design, including this interesting circle and spoke design by Dr. Max Roberts that neatly resembles the Underground logo itself:



More recently a new standard called INAT has been developed. Like the Beck design, it is based on horizontal, vertical, and 45° lines, but also allows circular routes and features rounded corners and a uniform shape:

london-metro-subway-tube-map-INATAll of these refined and creatives maps have given me a severe case of rapid transit map jealousy, as Winnipeggers continue to make do with an outdated BRT map based on regular transit standards.

I was going to wait until the Winnipeg RT network was expanded before doing this, but with all the bickering at city hall about BRT or LRT, where the route should go, if we can move CN rail lines to accommodate it, or if we should spend the money on fixing pot holes instead, it has become clear that Winnipeg’s rapid transit system is never going to grow beyond what we already have in place.

However, our current BRT system represents over 40 years of planning, and I believe it is finally time to produce a proper network map, based on the design standards documented above. I have therefore taken the liberty of producing the new definitive RT map for Winnipeg. Like the Beck design, I employ only horizontal, vertical and 45° lines, and I forgo geographical accuracy for simplicity.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Winnipeg BRT map:

tube map 45I trust you’ll find that this map greatly simplifies the task of navigating Winnipeg’s rapid transit network. I know it can get confusing sometimes, but if Winnipeg Transit adopts my map I believe locals and tourists alike will use the system more effectively and with less frustration.

Finally, Winnipeg joins the rapid transit big-leagues.

17 thoughts on “NEW: Winnipeg Rapid Transit Map

  1. Should add “2 feet planted in mouth” jpeg. That’s what Gerbassi is gonna look like when the shit hits the fan about the rail derailment in St. Norbert. LOL, swandel is gonna remind me of the cat that ate the bird grinning ear to ear. – as the feather named Gerbassi flutters to the ground.

  2. I think it can grow and has had some political will to complete. If the city and its politicians would have stuck with the plan they were working on 10 years ago the second phase would be near or close to completion. We can build a new stadium, human rights museum, develop centre port, build the MTS centre , build the Hydro building etc etc but the city refuses to have the foresight to see the future of mass transportation for this city. Every major city in the country is or has developed a rapid style transit system. Its time we move into this century and have the character as a city to move forward. We are always going to have potholes , how come the city has yet to find a way of building better roads or more a more durable solution for our climate. Why must BRT be an adversarial process. Of course we only have one phase , its a part of a bigger picture not the end….but as you put it some want it to be the end.

    • Agree. Just a total lack of conviction to get it done. IMO the first “phase” should never had been done on it’s own, because it’s really nothing unless it goes to the UofM. THAT should have been phase 1: downtown to the UofM.

      Perhaps at some point they’ll get around to extending it. Then I will be happy to revise the map.

  3. Gave me a good laugh! Seems that a rapid transit corridor should be light rail with connection to the airport. Why bother with this weak bus panacea? Spend the $, send the rail from the airport towards then down Portage to Main turning right to the VIA station for Forks access and down St. Mary’s to R. Park South. If walking bridges were installed over the Red River from River Road, U of M access would be solved (or split the line down Pembina). Sports prevails though. Stadiums are green lit while logic for transport in Canada’s coldest city remains non-existent.

    • Are you saying ‘do it right or not at all?’ That’s crazy talk around here.

      I have to say: I think the downtown – UofM corridor is a good place to start, and not convinced of the utility of the pedestrian bridge over the river (vs. cost of said bridge). That would be a cold and miserable walk for much of the school year.

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