Google Maps Wraps NYC Subway

By Matt Van Hoven 

During our morning commute today, we were excited to see that the shuttle train between Times Square and Grand Central was newly wrapped in decorative plastic. We told you about the first fully wrapped subway last month, when the History Channel dropped an estimated $95,000 for a month-long run.

Google bought the space this month (the track 1 train, which is most visible), and advertised their new maps dot google dot com/nyc application, which most directly competes with sites like HopStop and the MTA’s trip planner.

See the train above, and learn more about the product after the jump.

More: “History Channel Wraps NYC Subway to Offset MTA’s Financial Woes

The new function acts as a trip planner, but allows users in cities like New York to plan based on bus and train schedules/routes &#151 whereas previously only by-street directions were provided via Google maps. But why probably already knew that.

We can’t say with any certainty how much this placement cost or the duration, but the MTA is reportedly charging $95,000 for a month of wrappin’ &#151 so it’s safe to bet Google spent at least that much.

As a comparison to the History Channel, the wrap is much less sparse inside. THC completely covered the train cars, inside and out, whereas Google covered the outside, but stuck with posters inside. The posters are arguably the “smartest” aspect of the execution. As you can see by the above photo, they resemble the permanent maps that are posted in the train cars &#151 and people will probably look at the ads thinking they are looking at the map. Curiosity is born.