New York City subway riders can now find out when their trains will arrive by swiping their iPhones, not swiping their MetroCards. Not from NYC? Here’s why we’re ecstatic about it:
For a subway system so damn extensive, NYC’s Metropolitan Transit Authority certainly is arcane when it comes to informing passengers of train arrival times. Only a fraction of the city’s 24 lines have digital tracking on train locations, and if you’re in a station that isn’t on one of those lines, you have no way of knowing the wait time you face. This is, quite possibly, the worst.
To eliminate the frustration and guesswork (and save people money on swipes), the MTA just released Subway Time, an app that relays that information directly to an iPhone. Gone are the days of swiping into a station, trudging down to a platform, and discovering that you’ll have to wait 11 minutes for the next train, when walking would’ve taken 10.
Currently, the relay service is only available for the lines whose stations are already wired for the tracking — the 1,2,3,4,5,6 lines and the S 42nd Street Shuttle. Notably absent is the L train, which is wired for the service but didn’t make the cut for some reason. Hopefully it’ll be expanded to other lines soon.