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'Brand New Subway' game lets you redesign NYC transportation

Engadget Engadget 4/08/2016 David Lumb
© Provided by Engadget

Despite the robustness of New York City's famous subway system, every rider will lose their patience at some point or another. High fares! Inconveniently distant stops! Irregular schedules! Good news, grumbling commuters: now you can redesign the city's public transportation with the Brand New Subway game.

As expected, the game is a balancing act: every extension ups the fare cost while taking a variety of data (census, jobs, and existing demand) into account to determine how many commuters would benefit. Ridership and single-use Metrocard cost are evaluated and earn you a letter grade from A to F based on how useful and efficient your fantasy subway network would be. Hard as it might be to accept, the existing MTA setup earns a solid 'B' rating.

Brand New Subway lets you start from scratch to build your own fantasy map or load up several premade layouts from today or years past. While it's fun to see just how easy it would be to plop a new station right in front of your apartment, keep in mind how quickly that convenience ratchets up cost the next time you grumble about a MetroCard single-ride fare hike. Lest you despair about the actual increases coming in the next few years, the game helpfully gives you a look at how the subway system will look in 2025 with the 2nd Avenue line and Astoria-to-Sunset-Park BQX Connector included — and bumps up the MTA's grade to 'A.'

Brand New Subway was created to enter The Power Brokercontest, a competition for designers to make games adapting the themes of the book, a biography of the famed and powerful NYC urban planner Robert Moses. While he notoriously preferred car parkways to public transportation, players can experience the authority and necessary compromise that comes with controlling the lives of millions of commuters.

Brand New Subway

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