Moscow, the sprawling capital city of Russia, has always been renowned for its rich history, vibrant culture, and its intricate and efficient metro system. As we step into 2030, the Moscow Metro has transformed into a marvel of modern engineering, providing residents and visitors alike with a seamless and state-of-the-art transportation experience. Let’s dive in and explore the innovative features and benefits of the Moscow Subway Map.
Table of Contents:
- What is the Moscow Subway Map
- History and Evolution of the Moscow Subway Map
- Moscow Subway Map 2030 Development
- Choosing a Transport and Wayfinding Design Consultant
- Final Words
What is the Moscow Subway Map
The Moscow Subway Map (often referred to as the Moscow Metro Map or карта метро in Russian) is a graphical representation of the Moscow Metro system, which serves the city of Moscow, Russia. The map outlines the various metro lines, stations, and interchanges that form the network. Each line is colour-coded for easy identification, and stations are marked with symbols or names.
The Moscow Metro is one of the busiest and most extensive metro systems in the world, with multiple lines crisscrossing the city, connecting various districts and suburbs. The system is renowned not only for its efficiency but also for the architectural and artistic beauty of many of its stations.
If you’re looking for a current and detailed map, you would need to visit the official Moscow Metro website or reach out to us for a digital copy of the map. (Our corporate partners designed the Moscow Subway Map of 2030) The map can also be found at every metro station and in many tourist guides and maps of Moscow.
History and Evolution of the Moscow Subway Map
The Moscow Metro, known as “Moskovsky metropoliten,” was inaugurated on May 15, 1935. The first line had only 13 stations, running from Sokolniki to Park Kultury. This era marked the birth of the first subway map for Moscow, which was simplistic, focusing on the single line.
Expansion in the Post-War Era: The 1940s-1960s
After World War II, Moscow saw rapid urban expansion. As the city grew, so did its metro system. New lines were added, and the map evolved to accommodate these additions. Lines were colour-coded for easy differentiation, and the circular Koltsevaya Line, which looped around the city, became a defining feature of the map. (refer to image at the bottom left below)
When there were fewer lines, the Metro Subway Map was drawn geographically and showed the bends of the tunnels. This approach made it easy to highlight the connection between the new transport service and the city.
Modernisation and Artistry: The 1970s-1980s
This period saw the addition of newer lines and extensions, but also a focus on the metro’s architectural grandeur. Stations built during this time were often adorned with mosaics, sculptures, and chandeliers. The map started to feature not just functional details but also hints of the art and beauty that lay within the metro.
Metro Map 1978 (Middle Image):
New terminal stations were added to the system and they were expanding further and further away from the city centre. The lines were no longer bended and the map was less geographically accurate. (Image Source: n-metro.ru Our Metro Collectors Society)
Metro Map 1981 (Top Right Image)
The metro was nearing the Moscow Ring Road, leading to an extended array of stations at the line termini. Vertical arrangements were used to condense these lists. (Image Source: transphoto.org City Electrotransport)
Metro Map 1985 (Top Left Image)
Designers made an attempt to make the map more geographically accurate, however this map ended up looking ‘broken’ and was only used for a short period of time. (Image Source: n-metro.ru Our Metro Collectors Society)
Metro Map 1987 (Middle Image)
To organise the graphics, all the lines were drawn in a 45° grid. Doing so helped to create a more harmonious composition with parallel sections of lines. (Image Source: oldsamara.samgtu.ru Samara in Postcards & Photographs)
Post-Soviet Expansion: The 1990s-2000s
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought challenges but also opportunities. The metro system expanded to newer areas of Moscow, and the map was updated to reflect the post-Soviet city’s changing landscape. There was also a move towards digitisation, with the first digital maps making their appearance.
Metro Map 1995 (Top Right Image)
Seeking a balance between empty and crowded areas on the map, the designers crafted a fresh layout. This redesign fully occupied the entire sheet. (Image Source: n-metro.ru Our Metro Collectors Society)
The Age of Technology: 2010s-Present
Modern-day Moscow boasts a metro system that seamlessly blends history with cutting-edge technology. The map now exists not just as a physical entity but is also available on various digital platforms, apps, and websites. It’s regularly updated to show new stations, lines, and interchanges. Interactive maps allow users to plan routes, check train timings, and even get a glimpse of the station’s art and architecture.
Metro Map 2013 (Top Left Image)
In 2013, the residents of Moscow voted in favour of a new metro map created by Art.Lebedev Studio. This represented the most significant map revision of that period. The innovative design elements introduced in this version influenced subsequent transportation designs in Moscow. (Image Source: artlebedev.ru Art.Lebedev Studio)
Metro Map 2021 (Top Right Image)
With the opening of the MCC and the MCD, the map again lost its visual balance. As a result of showing the MCC ring and the circle line as circles, empty and packed spaces started to reappear. (Image Source: mcd.mosmetro.ru MCD official site)
Metro Map 2030
Tasked with the extensive plan of redesigning the metro map of 2030, our corporate partners – Constantine Konovalov and Natalia Moskaleva designed a brand-new map of the Moscow Metro, which envisions what the transport system will be like in ten years.
Three new diameters D3 D4 D5, and two new radial lines 13 14 will be built, and the Big Circle line 11 will become a complete circle. (image source: metromap.moscow/en)
Moscow Subway Map 2030 Development
As the transit system evolved, so did the metro map.
For a significant time period, the map design revolved around the “circle and radials” concept. Circle line 5 encompassed the city’s central area, housing the majority of the interchange stations. Beyond this Circle line, other lines were distilled to basic station lists.
From the 2010s onwards, there was a surge in the construction of new metro stations beyond the city core. Revamped railway lines integrated into the metro framework. With the growing intricacy of the network, there was a need to rethink the map design, as the existing one no longer mirrored the city’s layout.
Geography of Moscow
The 2030 metro map presents a geographical representation of Moscow’s transportation system.
Lines extend past the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) to encompass nearby cities. The MKAD, serving as the boundary for Moscow’s primary region, becomes a pivotal feature of the map. Its outline aids in navigation and trip time estimation.
Lines representing the actual geography appear tangled and can be challenging to navigate.
Our Corporate partners simplified the intricate intersections in the city centre and depicted the curves of lines beyond the downtown area schematically. This method clarifies the intricate transportation system, facilitates smoother navigation, and enables a comparison between the metro and city maps.
Choosing alternative icons
Rings are emblematic of Moscow. The city’s structure follows a circular logic, evident in the Boulevard and Garden rings, the Moscow Ring Road, and the Circle metro line.
However, the MCC K and the Big Circle line 11 deviate from Moscow’s traditional ring-centric layout. These two lines aren’t perfectly round, and they criss-cross each other. The primary design challenge revolves around these rings.
The essence of a circular line is that it’s a continuous route with transfer points, irrespective of its actual shape. For instance, the circular route on the London Tube map resembles a bottle, making it easily recognisable.
The team explored numerous solutions for the new rings when designing this map.
During the design process, the team aimed for three key elements: visual balance (avoiding overcrowded or empty areas), user-friendly navigation, and distinctive ring shapes.
The team retained the historical Circle line 5’s round shape, while opting for the new circular lines 11 and K to have a hexagonal form. This design considers the metro’s ongoing expansion. The hexagons set the foundation for a unique and visually appealing grid with 60° angles.
New 60° Grid
The underlying graphic grid serves as the unseen framework that shapes the composition.
In the 1980s, a 45° grid was the foundation for the official Moscow Metro map. This technique is a global favourite for schematic map designs. Harry Beck pioneered this 45° grid for the London Tube in 1931, establishing it as the gold standard for transportation map designs.
For the recent metro map, the team adopted an innovative grid approach – utilising three 60° axes instead of relying on four 45° axes for the schematic layout. This structure lets the team craft graceful and visually appealing line curves.
Transfer of Design Elements
The representation of station transfers is a crucial component of a transportation map.
Earlier Moscow Metro maps utilised arrows to indicate transfers, guiding passengers between lines.
The design has since been simplified. From 2013 onwards, transfers were depicted as “dumbbells” – dual rings with colour gradients in between. This approach is effective for maps with fewer hubs.
However, with the transport system becoming more intricate, there’s a need for a fresh visual for hubs. Hence, the team introduced a “capsule” design. These transfer outlines offer a striking contrast and are straightforward to comprehend.
Anthracite Metro Ring
The Big Circle line 11 intersects nearly every established metro line, forming a new interchange loop. To distinguish it from the other colourful lines, the team opted for an anthracite hue – almost black, yet not overpowering, ensuring the necessary contrast.
For the Big Circle line 11, the team employed both turquoise and anthracite shades. The choice of anthracite draws a parallel to the brown of Circle line 5. While the Big Circle line 11 is shown in turquoise on the existing map as an extension of the Kakhovskaya line, anthracite offers better contrast, simplifying route planning.
Picking colours for transit systems is intricate, and it’s essential to consider future expansion prospects. The team undertook a study on diameter colour-coding a few years back and curated a palette of previously unused colours.
Simplifying Names for the Surface Metro
The team proposed streamlining the complex terms ‘Moscow Central Ring’ and ‘Moscow Central Diameters’ to simply MCC and MCD. Given their shared railway heritage, they could be integrated into the above-ground metro system as Koltso (Circle) and Diameters, abbreviated as K and D respectively.
While the MCC has been designated as metro line 14, the team suggested representing the MCC with a graphic symbol K, reminiscent of the diameters logo. The number 14 could then be allocated to upcoming underground routes.
Choosing a Transport and Wayfinding Design Consultant
Selecting a Transport and Wayfinding Design Consultant is a pivotal step in creating a user-friendly, efficient, and safe transportation system. The following is a quick guide to help you choose the right one:
1. Determine Your Needs:
Understand the specific challenges and requirements of your transport system or facility. Do you need a design for a new metro system, or are you looking to improve signage in an airport?
2. Experience and Expertise:
Look for consultants with a proven track record in transport and wayfinding design. Review their portfolio to see if they’ve worked on similar projects. Ensure they have knowledge of international best practices and standards.
3. Client Testimonials and Case Studies:
A reputable consultant will have references or case studies that showcase their success stories. Reach out to previous clients to get feedback.
4. Approach and Methodology:
A good consultant will prioritise user experience. They should conduct surveys, field studies, and user testing to understand the needs of the end-users. They should be adept at using the latest technology and design tools.
Every transport system is unique. Ensure the consultant is flexible and can tailor their solutions to your specific needs.
6. Multidisciplinary Team:
An ideal team will include designers, architects, UX specialists, and project managers. This multidisciplinary approach ensures a comprehensive solution.
7. Cost and Time Frame:
While cost is an essential factor, it shouldn’t compromise the quality. Get multiple quotes to understand the market rate. Ensure the consultant can deliver within your project’s time frame.
8. Cultural and Local Understanding:
These are especially important for projects in diverse regions. The consultant should understand local customs, languages, and behaviours to design an effective wayfinding system.
9. Post Project Support:
The relationship shouldn’t end after the project is delivered. Ensure they provide support in case of issues or further improvements. E.g. future-proofing of softwares
It’s essential to have a good working relationship with your consultant. Ensure your communication styles, values, and visions align.
11. Continuous Learning:
The field of wayfinding and transport design is always evolving. Check if the consultant invests in continuous learning and stays updated with the latest trends and technologies.
12. Legal and Compliance Knowledge:
They should be aware of any local regulations, accessibility requirements, and safety standards relevant to the project.
Once you’ve shortlisted a few consultants, conduct face-to-face meetings or virtual calls. This will give you a better understanding of their capabilities and whether they’re the right fit for your project.
The Moscow Subway Map of 2030 is more than just a blueprint of the city’s veins; it’s a testament to intricate design, foresight, and user-centric planning. Meticulously crafted to mirror Moscow’s ever-evolving spirit, it harmonises complexity with clarity, ensuring every commuter’s journey is seamless and intuitive.
However, a map is just the beginning. In an age where mobility and user experience are paramount, having an expertly designed transportation system can set a city apart. As a premier corporate design and branding agency, our team of Transport and Wayfinding Design Consultants specialises in crafting wayfinding solutions that are not only functional but also aesthetically captivating.
Are you envisioning the next transportation marvel? Dreaming of a wayfinding system that resonates with the essence of your city or facility? Let our expertise guide you. Embark on a journey with us, and let’s co-create solutions that are forward-thinking, user-centric, and truly iconic.
Reach out today, and let’s shape the future of transportation together.
The Moscow Metro map 2030 is a project completed by our corporate partners – Graphic Designer Constantine Konovalov and Producer Natalia Moskaleva. All image and licensing rights belong to the original owners. Image Sources not stated belong to the property of metromap.moscow/en