Boston, MA - Earlier today, a graphic designer named Jake Berman of Fifty-Three Studio released an illustration of Boston's transit system from 1925. The map sparked dozens of comments and has become (regionally) viral, as some question the progress made to Boston's MTBA in the greater part of 100 years.
One user stated, "America, where our train lines get worse [sic] over 100 years."
When another suggested that the current MTBA map (below) has greater coverage today than Boston Elevated Railway Lines of 1925, numerous individuals pointed out that Berman's map only included the larger routes of the day.
"There used to be lots of trains criss-crossing Massachusetts," said one.
"Keep in mind that this does not include nearly 500 miles of streetcar lines just for BERy alone. Never mind all the lines of the Eastern Mass Stry, the massive, frequent commuter operations of the railroads, etc.," pointed out another.
Certainly, these points are well-made, but are they relevant in the time of personal cars, parking, and other forms of transportation? It is suggested that with the increase in personal vehicles and the growing need for individualized routes, trains have been relegated only to highly-populated areas. For better or for worse, U.S. cities seem as though they were designed to support mass transportation via car, and the train may have fallen by the wayside.
Visit FiftyThree.Studio for more information or to buy prints of Jake Berman's many popular maps.