The NY Times has an interesting story-behind-the-story tale of the map that went wrong. One interesting fact is that the map was supposed to be used with a series of other maps in stations that would have been more geographical in connecting to actual streets and tourist spots. Also, the MTA was so enthralled by Vignelli that they did absolutely zero testing of the radically new map before introducing it to a very cranky public.
Oddly, a new version of the map has had a resurgence, designed by Vignelli himself. As I wrote here, The WEEKENDER started appearing on the MTA's website last year to show weekend changes to lines. It's become so popular that now it's available at all times to show service changes and disruptions, of which there are more than a few. Glad to see the map is back and Vignelli's reputation somewhat restored too.