Kaylie Moise, December 29, 2012
New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) recently released a new app that lets passengers plan their travels to the minute when using different train lines. The subway system in New York is the largest in the U.S., and the app, MTA Subway Time, is the first app of its kind in the system’s 108-year history.
Subway Time gives iOS users train arrival times for seven of the city’s twenty-four lines. The MTA spent eleven years and more than $228 million to install digital train-tracking sensors and equipment needed to provide real-time location data. The iOS app connects to the system and gives commuters information like arrival times.
The lines that have support for this service are lines number 1 to 6 and the 42nd street shuttle. Two more lines are being worked on right now, including the L line between Brooklyn and Manhattan’s 14th Street and the number 7 between Queens and Midtown Manhattan. Updates for the L line are expected to be done in six months to a year, but the 7 train won’t be ready until at least 2016.
MTA Subway Time gives real-time train information and lets passengers know of any service delays or reroutes before you pay your fare. There are plans to release an Android and Windows version of the app, but they will likely be built by third-party developers. The MTA is providing developers with access to the sensor data feeds, letting app makers build real-time tracking programs that have more features than the ones offered by the official app.
One downside of this is that the service is mostly available above ground since cellular extension networks planned for underground stations are not yet completed. Still, this is a pretty big step forward. MTA Subway Time is a free download from the App Store.
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