After living in New York for so long I’ve grown used to the MTA. Not the most reliable form of transportation, but the one we must deal with. Throughout the years, trains have been upgraded with LCD screens the list the next stop and the direction it is heading in. Not all trains have been upgraded (waiting for the 7 train upgrade). We also have seen a recent increase in MTA vending machines. But what is the next MTA upgrade? Interactive Kiosks.
The subway maps. Yes the NYC MTA subway maps will be seeing a very much needed refresh. With the help of the Control Group, the subway maps will become interactive. By the end of 2013, there will be 90 touch-screen kiosks installed in popular stations. These On The Go Interactive Wayfinding Kiosks will provide valuable travel information.
What Information Will the Interactive Kiosks Provide?
“The new On The Go interactive HD displays will deliver real-time information, including simple visual station directions with transfers and line alerts, countdown to train arrival, relevant service updates, and a digital content loop. Up to 90 new installations will be placed at top New York City subway stations that service more than 4 million riders each day.” – Control Group
Think of what this could mean. Hopefully it means current information being updated in real-time. If you can’t access your Google Maps underground, you can check transfer options and directions underground. Of course you’ll see advertisements. They are hoping to bring in more revenue (hopefully no more fare hikes!)
How Will The Interactive Kiosks Work?
The waterproof (sanitation is a priority here) screens will be 47 inches and can operate in temperatures of up to 200 degrees. With touch interaction, tapping a destination on the map will give you a route to get there. The information will be provided by MTA approved third-party apps. Later on it will also provide wi-fi access and nearby destinations. If microphones are installed there’s a possibility of two-way communication with an MTA employee. They are even hinting at subway networking where you connect with other passengers and play smartphone games.
In an ideal world, these real time updates and interactive kiosks will be great. It will diminish train delays and hopefully will prevent you from getting lost. Are you ready for next generation transit?
Do you think the MTA is ready for such an upgrade? What can go right with this? Wrong? Do you think there are other things the MTA should repair or are the subway maps in desperate need of repair?
New York City is finally giving subway riders a high-tech option to figure out when their train is coming.
MTA has released a free app that provides real-time estimates of train arrivals so riders can better plan out when to show up at the station. The app is called Subway Time and is currently only available on the iPhone, though there are plans to release it on other platforms in the future.
Other third-party apps like NextStop and NYC Mate also provide subway arrival time estimates for New York City, but the new Subway Time app has the potential to be more accurate and useful by relying on the MTA’s signal data for train arrivals.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the MTA has spent $228 million over 11 years installing advanced signals on select train lines, which can be used to provide minute-by-minute updates on a train’s location. As a result, the app is limited to just showing train times for the red and green subway lines as well as the Grand Central-Times Square shuttle, though there are plans to add the L train in the next 6-12 months and the 7 train by 2016. Unfortunately, the app will only work when there is an Internet connection, which means it is really only useful at above ground stations and the limited handful of stations that have WiFi.
If you’re looking for the silver lining in the ever-looming MTA fare increase, why not check this app out and let us know how it works for you!