Soon-to-be-Official Map: Tram Network of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine

Submitted by Alexander Zaytsev, who says:

Hey Cameron and Transit Maps readers! I’d like to show you the first transit map that in my portfolio. Here are the tram routes of one of the largest Ukrainian cities — Dnipropetrovsk. This unofficial map is going to be official very soon :) What do you think?

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Transit Maps says:

I like it! Clear and easy to follow a route line from one end to the other. The map retains enough information to relate to the city’s street grid, which is more important for trams than it might be for a subway or Metro. The little jogs in the red Line 1 are a good example: I’d hate that kind of fussy detail on a subway map, but here it tells the reader that the line briefly jumps across to another street on its way through the downtown area. The little dogleg that Lines 4 and 12 take is also a nice visualisation of the actual street layout.

Interestingly, while the map shows connections to main line railway stations (denoted by a steam train icon!), it doesn’t indicate the Dnipropetrovsk Metro in any way. While I understand that the Metro isn’t exactly anything to write home about with just six stations and declining ridership, I think that some sort of acknowledgement of it of this map would be useful.

Apart from that, the only thing I’m not too sure about is the thinning of the route lines as they approach the big loop in the centre of the map. While I can understand the desire to save a little bit of space where five lines run concurrently, I don’t think the result is worth the effort. The orange Line 17 looks particularly off-kilter as it approaches the loop from the south, very obviously leaning to the right.

Our rating: A solid, earnest effort that’s clear and easy to use — far better than many maps of similarly-sized tram systems. Three-and-a-half stars!

3.5 Stars

Historical Map: Abandoned Bus Station, Pripyat, Ukraine

A harrowing image from the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, built in the 1970s to house workers for the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear plant. Pripyat lies just a few scant kilometres from the plant, and was permanently evacuated within two days of the disaster in 1986. 

Within the ruins of the city’s bus station is this surprisingly intact map of services offered within the local region. Pripyat is the fourth station from the top along the right edge of the map, just above the horizontal line that runs through the map. The town of Chernobyl (which is further from the plant than Pripyat) is the next stop to the south along the red route line.

(Source: Matt. Create. (Roads Less Traveled)/Flickr)

Unofficial Map: Integrated Transit Map of Kiev, Ukraine

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to post until the New Year, but I couldn’t wait to show this exciting new map of transit in Kiev, Ukraine.

This beautiful diagram was designed by Igor Skliarevsky in his own time, simply because he was frustrated with the limitations and design of the official map. As he says on his website (pardon the Google Translate from Ukrainian), “As a designer, I find it difficult to put up with inconvenience and ugliness of things that surround me.” As this was the main reason I designed my integrated transit map of Portland, Oregon, I definitely agree with Igor on that front.

Have we been there? No.

What we like: Lovely minimalist transit map design with a very elegant flowing feel. I particularly like the curved lines that join different transit modes and the subtle gradients between the coloured circles at transit stations. Fantastic hierarchy: the Metro is most important/largest, then light rail, then commuter rail. Yellow informational icons stand out well - an advantage of a system that doesn’t use every colour for its route lines! Plenty of lovely white space, even though all text is duplicated (in Ukrainian and a transliteration).

What we don’t like: A few tiny errors here and there. “Ploscha” is capitalised in Kontraktova Ploscha, but Poshtova ploscha - directly underneath - is not. Type on the commuter rail lines seems a little too small in comparison to the Metro lines. I feel that the terminus cap where the T2 and T1 lines end should be purple, so each of the three light rail lines gets to be a terminal cap colour - at the moment, orange is used twice (also at the T1/T3 terminal). The QR code may be useful, but boy, does it ruin the minimalist aesthetics of the map!

Our rating: Igor is certainly to be commended for this excellent effort, a gorgeous map indeed. Four-and-a-half stars!

4.5 Stars!

(Source: Wayfinding Kiev website)