World Subway Maps Drawn To Scale

Think New York has the most extensive subway system in the world? You may be right, but it’s a toss-up with London and Berlin. It’s easy to judge if you take all the metro systems and draw them to the same scale, as artist and urban planner Neil Freeman did in a series of minimalist subway maps. Comparing different systems, it’s a wonder why cities like Budapest even bothered with a metro, yet having ridden it, it’s a pretty extensive system.

Check out more of Neil Freeman’s awesome work, including a comparison of US metro regions and their respective states, a postcard of IATA airport codes, and in topical news, the electoral college map on his site Fake Is The New Real.

[Photo Credit: Neil Freeman]

Video: New York City subway tap dancer

If you find yourself on the New York City subway on any given weekend, you may be treated to the dance styling of a young tap dancer trying to support himself through college. Joshua Johnson is a junior at Penn State University and a native New Yorker who travels home twice a month to tap dance on the subway and earn extra cash through donations of subway riders. Joshua primarily taps on the 2, 3 and Q trains and calls his performance “The Tap Express.”

While performing and soliciting donations on the subway is illegal without permission from the MTA, chances are you’ve seen some kind of performer on the train if you’ve ridden enough times. In my 12-plus years in New York, I’ve seen (and even participated in) a few acts including magicians, break dancers, comedians, steel drummers, Doo Wop singers and plenty of just-plain-crazies, often the most entertaining performers of all.

Video produced by the New York Times.

Video: Pirate Wi-Fi on New York City subway “L Train Notwork” Behind the Scenes from Matthew McGregor-Mento on Vimeo.

There was recently a pirate wi-fi network on New York City‘s L train. Available only in the last cars of the Brooklyn-bound train and only from 8am until 10am, this underground pirate wi-fi network was live and available only for a week. If you’re wondering why or how or who put this together, allow me to fill in those blanks as best as I can. tends to do precisely what their name advertises–they really are masters of cool. The L Train ‘Notwork’ was just one of their endeavors and here’s how it went. The people over at WMCS powered the ‘Notwork’ with person-portable battery-powered web servers. The wi-fi didn’t connect commuters to the internet, though. Instead of connecting train passengers to the whole world wide web, it connected them to content provided by local artists in addition to a chat room. Check out the behind the scenes video above for a look into the the world and work of the people who put this project together.

Find out more about what WMCS did for the L train here on Laughing Squid and keep up with WMCS so that you might be tuned in for their next cool endeavor here on the WMCS website.

Bedbug invasion hits New York City subways

We don’t really have a bedbug fetish here at Gadling, but we’ve had something to say about these blood sucking critters on occasion. Here’s just one more that will make you think twice about sitting down on those fairly harmless looking wooden benches while you’re waiting for a subway in New York City. Wooden benches, like motel mattresses, can be a real bedbug hangout, according to this article in the New York Post.

These bedbugs are not happy just sitting on a bench minding their own business. Instead, they can jump on you for a ride on your business. A city authority on bedbugs admitted there have been sightings of these blood lovers down where the commuters wait for a ride. Exclamations like “That’s gross!” have been heard.

All subway stations aren’t involved in the invasion. To my dismay, the Union Square station, the one that is closest to where my brother lives, is mentioned twice. It’s one of those sprawling stations that goes every which way, so I have no idea which benches you should avoid.

Bedbugs have also been sighted at the Fordham Road stations and the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Brooklyn. Maybe they’ve become tired of their hotel digs.

Other Gadling bedbug stories: