Michael Tyznik

Columbus fantasy transit map

My hometown of Columbus, Ohio, is the largest city in the United States without any form of rail transportation. I've been imagining new transit systems for Columbus my whole life, and I'm currently on my fourth iteration of the map. I hope with each map to create a more realistic, functional system, as well as a more refined and modern map.

My latest map, finished in 2018, incorporates Columbus's new CMAX bus rapid transit line, and elevates BRT to the same level of importance as light rail. The light rail system uses freight rail rights of way throughout the city, with new rights of way in areas like the airport. Inspired by Jarett Walker, I've also created a grid system of local bus lines to fill in gaps in service throughout the city.


My map from 2009 uses tram-train technology, where trains run on existing freight rail tracks within the city, and run on-street in the suburbs.

A poster of the map is available from Society6, along with T-shirts and other accessories, and a PDF can be downloaded here.

Freight rail corridors

In 2008 I first noticed the spokelike pattern of freight rail tracks in Columbus, coming from all directions and converging right in the center of the city, in the current Arena District. Columbus's convention center sits where Union Station once stood, making it the epicenter of this light rail network.

Line map

Columbus metro

My first system and map for Columbus was created while I was interning in Washington, DC. The inspiration is pretty evident in this very basic, unrealistic system.

Geographic map

Metro card

Station signage