Subway maps distort the reality on the ground for all kinds of reasons. In order to play to our cognitive capacities and honor basic rules, there’s no choice but to distort maps. The thing is, we humans are always using heuristics to make decisions, public transit choices included.
Everyone might know a map "works," but we don’t necessarily know how it's working on us. When we plan out a route, we consider tons of factors: distance, travel time, number of transfers, walking time, waiting time, direction, reliability, level of crowding, operating hours, cost, seat availability, aesthetics, and more. So what happens when we make decisions based on inaccurate maps?
In the end it might be attractive to distort the maps a little bit further, in order to change the User Experience and Behavior. It might be cheaper to change peoples brain than their so called reality .. (p(re))framing their lives ..