Monday, May 10, 2010

Metro's terminal-based wayfinding confusing for visitors

For out-of-towners, navigating the Metro system can be a daunting task. Metro could make directions easier and improve wayfinding in the system by providing more information about train directions on signs.

The system's use of colored lines and destination station to identify train direction works fairly well for Metro, especially given the structure of the system, but it can be confusing to see one train going to Glenmont and another to Grosvenor when neither mean much to a visitor.

Where some trains don't go all the way to the terminal, like on the Red Line, the multiple terminals are even more confusing, especially when two Red Line terminals are two-word names starting with 'S' and the others one word starting with 'G', but one of each is on either end of the line. Other lines downtown also have two terminals in each direction since two colors share a track.

What could Metro do? Other transit systems approach this problem in several ways.


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