The MTA just unveiled a new app that allows Long Island Railroad riders to choose their train based on which ones will be the least crowded.
Besides just avoiding annoyingly packed trains, of course, it will also help commuters maintain proper social distancing measures. According to a press release, the LIRR is the “first transit agency globally to deploy the crowding data feature, which empowers customers with information so accurate and precise that they never have to second guess the best time to use the system.”
Basically, the new LIRR TrainTime App will give customers access to the median ridership of the past 7 trips of a specific train, at any station, updated every morning to include the prior day’s data. Icons will show capacity next to each train time after they plug their trip in, ranging from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most crowded and 1 being the least crowded.
How do they get this data, you may ask? It’s actually collected using high-tech sensors that are in each train, and can determine how many passengers are on board at any given time. That encrypted data is then securely transmitted and processed in the cloud, and then integrated into the app for customer use in real-time.
“In the days and months following the start of this global pandemic, MTA Chairman Pat Foye openly discussed the possibility of instituting a reservation-style ticketing system on the railroads. What we’ve developed is even better,” said LIRR President Phil Eng in the press release.
“In effect, the historical loading feature updates daily and provides our customers with perfect data. Our riders can rest assured that this information is reliable and never subject to human error. Our customers will be able to understand the exact ridership trends of their particular trip so that they can make the most ideal decision possible about when to ride with us. MTA LIRR TrainTime is first in class and our customers deserve nothing less. ”
We’re hoping they add some kind of feature like this to the subway next! And remember, riding the subway is likely safer than indoor dining…
featured image source: Facebook / Long Island Railroad