Official Map: Rapid Transit of Cleveland, Ohio

After posting a photo of a vintage Cleveland RTA rapid transit map, I was curious as to what the current map looked like. Oh dear. Maybe I shouldn’t have looked.

Have we been there? No.

What we like: Sadly, the best thing about this map is the nicely retro-styled RTA agency logo. As for the rest…

What we don’t like: Multiple angles for route lines instead of the standard 45-degrees looks messy and poorly thought out. Strange spacing of stations on the eastern part of the Green Line.

Multicoloured concentric rings for interchange stations gives a strange rainbow vibe to the whole map that becomes quite jarring when four colours -green, red, blue and silver - are used at the Tower City station. Strangely and inconsistently, this concentric ring device is not used on the Waterfront Line, with two half rings being used instead.

The Waterfront Line is also drawn with thinner lines than the rest of the map, which confused me greatly at first: isn’t it just an extension of the Green and Blue Lines? I had to do some research to find out that the Waterfront Line only operates on weekends - an incredibly vital piece of operating information that isn’t indicated on the map at all. A simple addition to the legend would have worked nicely here.

Embarrassingly desultory addition of the HealthLine BRT route.

Our rating: Ugh. An ugly, confusing, inconsistent mess. One star.

1 Star

(Source: Official RTA website)

Old Cleveland RTA Route Map

This looks like it may be affixed to a door or wall of an old train carriage (see the window just above the placard), which means the type on the rail map is incredibly small. The naming of the main railway station as “Public Square” rather than “Tower City” means this map is pre-1991 (when the station changed names), although the general aesthetics and typography would lead me to suspect that this map is from the late 1970s.

(Source: unit2345/Flickr)