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Weekender Wins Praise

This Sunday, The New York Times' design critic Alice Rawsthorn had some praise for The Weekender, our effort to make it easier to find out about planned service diversions on the subway on weekends.

Rawsthorn begins her piece this way: "Finding new ways of making our lives more efficient or enjoyable, ideally both, has been one of design's roles throughout history. Often designers do so by translating leaps in technology into things we find useful or appealing. Sometimes they achieve the same result simply by thinking of new — and better — ways of solving problems."

Screenshot of The Weekender

She goes on to describe four "everyday innovations," starting with The Weekender, which takes over our homepage every weekend to show how planned service diversions are impacting subway lines.

Riding the subway on weekends can be frustrating, she writes, for those who are not forewarned about service changes. But, she writes, "The M.T.A. has devised a smart solution in The Weekender, an interactive map of the subway system, which appears on the home page of its Web site (www.mta.info) from 3 p.m. every Friday until early Monday. ...The Weekender is an inspired example of the interactive digital information systems that are now replacing traditional maps, charts and timetables."

We launched The Weekender on Sept. 16 as an attempt to make it easier for subway riders to visualize exactly how weekend work will affect subway service. The diagram used as the base of the Weekender is designed to illustrate service diversions at a glance. It is inspired by the 1972 New York City subway map designed by world renowned map maker and designer Massimo Vignelli and was designed by Vignelli, Beatriz Cifuentes and Yoshiki Waterhouse. It uses a map designed by the trio in 2008 that uses the current subway line colors, which originated in 1979.

"With The Weekender, we are presenting weekend service diversion information in a visual way and an interactive way for the first time," Paul J. Fleuranges, Senior Director of Corporate and Internal Communications for the MTA, said at the time. "We're glad that that The Weekender has been received so warmly by critics and our customers. But we're not finished yet, we're making changes based on feedback we've received and hope to roll those out very shortly"