New Subway Touch Screens
New MTA subway touch screens displays have finally arrived, a number of the new systems were placed in Grand Central Station. They will feature way-finding and real-time status information, useful for receiving information underground when PA speakers are unintelligible or when one is unable to find a station attendant (the numbers of which are steadily decreasing).
New York subway riders first were promised futuristic touchscreen wayfinding maps a year ago. But the plan to install the futuristic infrastructure stalled as the design team took a step back to improve the hardware. Six months overdue, the first batch is finally live in Grand Central Station. They were worth the wait.
Over the last month, the first 18 MTA On the Go kiosks were installed in the Grand Central subway station. Eight of them are split between the uptown and downtown sides of the major 4/5/6 north-south arteries; the other 10 are scattered throughout the mezzanine above that connects the subway to the century-old commuter rail station. (Expect a wider roll out to more stations by the middle of the year.) The screens are basically huge interactive navigation centers, which serve real-time up information about how to get where you're going, and what (inevitable) service disruptions might get in the way.
More information can be found about the pilot program from the MTA website.
They will be moving ahead with a second phase of the project to expand the kiosks to more stations:
MTA New York City Transit announced today that it will move ahead with the second phase of a pilot project for On the Go! Travel Stations, adding at least 77 of the interactive touch-screen kiosks throughout the system that offer MTA travel information and a whole lot more.
... and the systems will be customized according to their location and the time of day:
The On the Go! Travel Stations can be customized for a specific location and by time of day. For example, at the Penn Station Travel Station, during the morning, the screen will default to subway information and in the evenings it will default to LIRR service. All content is remotely managed from a secure web-based management system and applications can be changed or updated as needed.
This is of particular interest to me, since I studied MTA subway information gaps as part of my thesis in the MFADT program at Parsons.