Official Map: Maryland Transit Administration Regional Transit Map
Here’s a large-format multi-modal map from the Maryland Transit Authority, centered on Baltimore. Contrast it against this previously reviewed map of similar scope from the Los Angeles Metro, and it can be seen that the MTA map has got a far better balance of design and usability, and is actually a quite superb and comprehensive map.
Have we been there? No.
What we like: Incredibly legible for such a dense map. It shows light rail, Metro, commuter rail (MARC services) and varying levels of bus service from multiple transit agencies, all overlaid on a nicely stylised street grid. Unlike the LA map, colors are used effectively to differentiate bus routes, meaning the routes themselves are much easier to follow. Bus route termini are also clearly marked, which helps immensely.
What we don’t like: CMRT Transit seems to get short-changed, with all nine of its routes sharing the same magenta colour, making the south-west corner of the map very pink, and those routes harder to make sense of.
Our rating: Shows how important the use of colour is to help people differentate between different routes of a similar service, especially in densely served areas. The palette used is fairly limited, but is used judiciously. Not a map for casual use, but provides a comprehensive and visually appealing guide to services in and around Baltimore. Four-and-a-half stars.
(Source: MTA website)