America’s largest subway system launched a smartphone application that will reveal train-arrival times on seven of the city’s 24 lines—a leap forward for a service that has lagged behind its peers both at home and abroad in adopting new technologies.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority released on Friday its Subway Time app for passengers with iPhones and iPod Touch devices. The agency had planned versions for Android and Windows users but said Friday that apps on those platforms will be built instead by third-party developers. Transit officials are currently considering how to integrate real-time arrival information on the MTA’s existing website.
Only part of the subway system is equipped with signalling that can generate a digital feed that can be pushed out to smartphones.
At first, it’ll only be for iPhone and iPod Touch devices and will work at above ground stations as well as those few underground facilities that are equipped with cell phone or Wi-Fi service.
There was already a free App that has train arrival countdowns, and has them for every stop on all 24 lines. However, the NextStop app does that using the schedule, whereas the new app will be based on the actual position of the trains and will account for delays.
The other big limitation is 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.
Still, if you happen to live off one of the lines already featured in the app, it’s certainly worth a download. It may not make up for the recent subway fare increase, but at least it’s something.
Do you like this NYC subway app?