Lest you get lost in the intricate web of Mumbai local train network, there is little reason to worry. You can now access a commuter-friendly and easily navigable railway map designed by students of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B). “This is a first of its kind initiative, wherein the students as a part of their class assignment have created an implementable project for the suburban railways of Mumbai,” said Mandar Rane, associate professor, Visual Communication, Industrial Design Centre, IIT-B.
The colour coded map designed by first-year Masters in Visual Communication students, Jaikishan Patel and Snehal Patil, comprises of connecting routes that link western, central, harbour and Trans harbour train stations. “What makes the map unique is that we have included shuttle express ways which run from Vasai to Roha. Moreover, there is clear distinction between Fast and Slow local stops which existing maps don't provide. The visual appearance is easy on eye and additionally, this map is designed to accommodate the colour blind population. They can differentiate among the routes by the tone and thickness of the rail lines,” Jaikishan Patel told dna.
A need to create a comprehensive map along with grids and a legend, which simplify the commute for a local or foreign traveller, was felt by the students after observing that there is a gross lack of commuter-friendly signages on railway stations of Mumbai. “Over 2000 train services operate every day on Mumbai railways carrying 70 lakh commuters. Yet there are no maps on stations notifying a commuter the location at which he/she is standing on any given station. We spent an entire week talking to railway commuters and understood the need of having such a map,” said Patel.
The students are now working on making the maps bilingual by including devanagari script in the design. “After improvisations, we will propose to the Mumbai railways for installing up reader friendly signages in terms of You Are Here (YAH) Maps at all stations for public use to ease travel woes,” Rane told dna.