Salt Lake City UTA TRAX and FrontRunner: now officially the most embarrassing transit maps in the U.S.
Seriously. Do they even care at all any more?
With the opening of the new TRAX light rail Green Line extension to the airport, the UTA has updated their website with new maps. Well, only partially, which is bad enough in itself. If you go to the System Maps page, you still get a combined pre-extension TRAX/FrontRunner map (reviewed here, Dec 2012, half a star). However, if you click on the TRAX or FrontRunner icons, you can get to the updated individual maps for each service as shown here.
These maps are… beyond appalling.
It’s painfully obvious to me that a low-quality JPG has been exported for each map, and the service that is not meant to be shown has been deleted in Photoshop using the eraser tool. And they’ve done a really bad job of it, too, sloppily deleting parts of route lines, station markers and labels all over the place. On the TRAX map, the Red and Blue lines inexplicably change to shades of grey through the city center, and a completely undeleted part of the FrontRunner route remains visible (also in grey!). Stations on the FrontRunner map that would interchange with TRAX still have their wider interchange markers, even though there’s no TRAX routes shown to interchange with.
Even the legend at the bottom of the maps have had the same treatment: there’s room for the three TRAX lines to slot neatly into place on the FrontRunner map and vice versa. I’ve overlaid these two maps on top of each other in Photoshop: they fit almost perfectly.
I recently said that designers shouldn’t work for free, but in this case, I take it all back. Please: can someone — anyone! — design a decent rail map for the UTA and make them use it, because this is is just pathetic.