Historical Map: San Francisco Muni Transit Routes, 1970

For a long period of time, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, (commonly shortened to just “Muni”) used pretty much exactly the same map in their brochures. It seems that each year, they’d simply make any amendments required — addition of new routes, deletion of old ones, etc. —  and then reprint the brochure/map in a new colour combination.

The earliest example I can find, from 1952, uses a sombre two-color palette of black and red, mostly tinted down to greys and pinks. However, by 1970, the map had evolved into this gloriously garish three-colour purple, yellow and black vision that suits the post-Summer of Love San Francisco perfectly.

The map shows all Muni streetcar, coach and cable car services, but with no visible mode differentiation — express services are shown with a dashed line. However, the map’s actually pretty clean and easy to follow: route termini are clearly shown by route numbers in large circles, and there’s enough smaller numbers along each route to allow you to follow them from one end to the other.

Also of note: basic fare is just 20 cents!

Our rating: Groovy, man! A psychedelic re-imagining of a long-serving and functional map. Four stars.

4 Stars!

(Source: Eric Fischer/Flickr)

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