STM

Wayfinding will become easier over the next few years as the STM rolls out its new design, one station at a time.

Montreal’s metro stations are getting new signage and better maps. Eventually.

After a pilot program at the Jean-Talon and Henri-Bourassa stations, STM has finalized its new wayfinding system. Due to funding constraints, though, new signage systems will only be implemented in stations already tabbed for renovations. That means only 17 of STM’s 68 metro stations are scheduled to have the new signs in place by 2020. Beaubien was the first to get the new treatment last year after its reopening in August.

Signage throughout Metro has been set in Univers since the system debuted in 1966. New ones will be in Transit, a typeface that’s easier to pick up from long distances, especially for the visually impaired.

Signs that indicate above ground destinations will be white with black type. Signs for undergound destinations will be black with white type. (STM)

New signs directing riders to station platforms will be black with white lettering, instead of white lettering on a solid-color background corresponding to the rail line. Instead, color coding be indicated by a circle on the left-hand side of the sign. These signs will now use lower case letters, since their variations make for better legibility. Signs that indicate above-ground destinations will be white with black type. Station exits will also be letter-coded.

All-caps Univers won’t totally disappear. Platforms will still display station names in the type it’s used since the system debuted. (STM)

All-caps Univers isn’t going away completely. Station names presented along each platform will remain as they always have as a nod to the design history of the system. It’d be hard to imagine Montreal’s metro stations with out them.

Metro’s old (left) and updated (right) system map.

As for new maps, riders will be able to figure out their surroundings via vicinity maps that show a 5-minute walking radius around the station. The metro system map is also getting a refresh, with cleaner lines and typography that resembles what riders will see as their train enters a station.

According to the STM, the bus stations will eventually get the same signage treatment, but there’s no timeline on that yet. A full summary of the design changes is also available in a video by the transit agency:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of shoppers in the central textile market of downtown Jakarta.
    Design

    How Cities Design Themselves

    Urban planner Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order Without Design, argues that cities are really shaped by market forces, not visionaries.

  2. A pupil works on a cardboard architectural model at a Hong Kong primary school.
    Design

    The Case for Architecture Classes in Schools

    Through the organization Architecture for Children, Hong Kong architect Vicky Chan has taught urban design and planning to thousands of kids. Here’s why.

  3. A woman driving a ride-hailing vehicle.
    Transportation

    The Policy That Will Make the Uber/Lyft IPO Pay Off

    Congestion pricing is gaining ground in New York City and Los Angeles. That could help turn around ride-hailing’s losses.

  4. Apple's planned new campus in Austin, Texas.
    Life

    Why Apple Bet on Austin’s Suburbs for Its Next Big Expansion

    By adding thousands more jobs outside the Texas capital, Apple has followed a tech expansion playbook that may just exacerbate economic inequality.

  5. A photo of an encampment of homeless people outside Minneapolis,
    Equity

    Why Minneapolis Just Made Zoning History

    The ambitious Minneapolis 2040 plan will encourage more dense housing development in single-family neighborhoods.