MTA launches 'live' subway map that shows train movement in real time, planned service changes

Live Subway Map
Interim MTA New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg announces the beta launch of a Live Subway Map at Fulton Transit Center on Tue., October 20, 2020. Photo credit Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The city’s subway map got a virtual upgrade on Tuesday.

The MTA on Tuesday debuted a live, web-based version of the iconic subway map, which shows trains moving in real time and lets riders check for planned service chances, instead of looking for paper announcements inside stations.

“We’ve all had the experience when we get on the train on a Saturday morning, sit down, read a book take a look at your iPhone and then look up and see we’re at a different station than we might have expected to be at,” said Sarah Meyer, chief customer officer for New York City Transit, which operates the subways. “This will save people time and make their lives easier.”

The map also includes information on which stations have elevator access and whether elevators are operating. Clicking on a station shows how soon each train will arrive.

“No longer will people have to decipher a range of in station signs. You can plan your commute from the palm of your hand,” Meyer said.

The Brooklyn digital design firm, Work and Co., created the map for free as the MTA struggles with an unprecedented drop in ridership.

Meyer notes that the ridership is still down, but the agency is holding out hope for the federal government to step up and help.

“Without funding we could see the reality is we could see lines on this map vanish before our eyes and that's something no one wants to see,” Meyer said.

The live map, available at, retains features of the existing one but essentially redraws itself using real-time data as service status changes, Memoria said. It will let riders plan their trip from their phone without having to rely on deciphering in-station signs or translating muffled service announcements.

The MTA stressed that the live map is in beta stage, and welcomed rider feedback.

(© 2020 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)