Rio de Janeiro Metrô Strip Map

Submitted by David Daglish, who says:

Rio De Janeiro’s metro system has only two lines, both cover the same stations through the business district to the tourist areas of the Zona Sul. The transit map also shows “metro bus” connections that don’t quite make geographic sense.

Transit Maps says: a “straightened” linear version of the full map (reviewed here, 2 stars), which enhances the legibility considerably. Strangely, this version also has information about weekend services that the full map completely lacks. However, the directional arrows between each and every station has to be one of the most ridiculously redundant pieces of design I’ve ever seen.

Official Map: Metrô Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Here’s a map that’s going to be seen a lot by tourists over the next few years as Rio de Janeiro hosts both the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Will it stand up to such international scrutiny and join other transit maps as a definitive icon of its city?

Probably not.

Have we been there? No.

What we like: Suitably bright and exotic Brazilian colour scheme. Relatively clean and simple design.

What we don’t like: Poorly drawn route lines with some very uneven curves, which clash stylistically with the very straight “Subway Bus” route lines. Heavy-handed elements throughout the map, including very large and bold text for station names and enormous bicycle parking icons. Inconsistent placement of connection information: why is the “Cosme Velho” label placed below the station it connects to, when nearby stations have the label placed neatly to the side? Some absolutely hideous distorted text in the legend below the map.

Our rating: Not great. 2 stars.

2 Stars

(Source: Official Metrô Rio website)

Official Map: Sao Paulo Metropolitan Transport Network

Unusually, this map from the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo shows services offered by completely different transportation companies on the same map. To my mind, this type of integrated map needs to be used more often - travelers don’t necessarily care who offers the service, they just want to know if they can get from point A to point B.

Have we been there? No.

What we like: Comprehensive and all-encompassing. Great legend, even if it takes up more than half the sheet of paper it is printed on. I love the line names for the CPTM services - precious stones. It makes for some lovely and unusual colours on the map itself as well. Bilingual legend.

What we don’t like: Seems very cramped in places. The spacing on the Diamond line to the west of the city is far tighter than on the lines to the east. The grey drop shadow on the interchange stations (seemingly indicating light coming from the top left of the map) is ugly and unnecessary.

The whole thing is very busy, with dots everywhere - blue dots, green dots, white dots with green outlines, dots with an “E” in them - all of which need you to refer to the legend to determine their meaning. The need to show the logos of all the service providers on the map itself just adds to the visual noise.

Some routes seem unnecessarily complex for a diagrammatic map - the Yellow Line weaves all over the place, and why does the Lilac line need to jog northwards after it connects with the Emerald line at Santo Amaro?

Our rating: A comprehensive look at transit in a huge city, but a bit of a mess, really. Two-and-a-half-stars.

2.5 Stars

(Source: Official Sao Paulo Metro website)