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?