New MTA app lets riders know how crowded train cars are
The MTA is adding a new feature to its Metro-North app designed to keep commuters safe and informed.
In a world of social distancing, the MTA is now letting people see how crowded train cars are before they get to the station.
The app now tracks the amount of space available in each car of an approaching train in real-time. So, riders can better prepare for where to enter, sit, and move about to keep the most distance from others.
The trains look at the weight of each car to estimate the total number of people inside. "We are committed to having our customers safe as they continue to return to our trains. In a recent survey of our ridership, we heard loud and clear that customers were looking for information about crowding on board," says Metro-North President Cathy Rinaldi.
Right now, the new feature is available on the Harlem and Hudson lines and is getting rolled out for New Haven.
"[It's] so important for the safety of our customers. [It] gives them something that they are looking for as we welcome them back to the system during this very, very challenging time," says Rinaldi.
Commuters at the Tarrytown station tell News 12 they are interested in trying it out. "Looking at the phone to see what car is empty yeah, it's really a good idea," says Una Smith, from Ossining.
Metro-North ridership is still down about 80% of what it was a year ago, but it has slightly recovered from the spring when it was down 95%.