This month New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be providing one of the largest service changes in 20 years, affecting more than 600,000 riders, and the map is aimed at helping those riders.

The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign has updated its interactive, online subway map to reflect major changes in subway service.

The online map is the only website in New York using a geographic information system (GIS) dedicated to providing accurate location information about the city's public transit network, the biggest subway system in the United States. The map is provided by the nonprofit Straphangers Campaign as a free service to New Yorkers, visitors, businesses and others.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will be providing major service changes this month due to the full opening of the subway tracks on the Manhattan Bridge, touted as one of the largest service changes in 20 years. The adjustments will affect more than 600,000 riders, re-routing some lines and changing the letter designations for others. For example, the Q-circle will become the B, while the W will become the D in Brooklyn.

"Before trying to navigate the alphabet soup of subway changes this month, visit to figure out the best commute for you," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.

The campaign's interactive map - at - finds the closest subway stop to any location in New York City. Visitors simply enter a street address and get an accurate map showing their destination with the nearby subway routes and stations. The map shows the actual street grid, enabling web users to see the exact distance between the subway stop and their destination, as well as neighborhood landmarks.

NYPIRG CMAP maintains the mapping service. The website uses GIS and database technology to match street addresses and display subway routes. Geographic data was provided originally by MTA New York City Transit and the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, and has been updated by CMAP and the Straphangers Campaign.

Source: NYPIRG, Feb. 18, 2004