Innovative New Passenger Count Feature Developed Through Hackathon Is Expected This Fall
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that an update that goes into effect today for the official Metro-North Train Time app includes real-time train tracking map integrated into the app, a one-tap link to view and purchase tickets via MTA eTix, and the ability to bookmark favorite trips and stations. Customers can also now use the app in languages other than English: Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Yiddish.
“The updates to the TrainTime app really enhance the customer experience and address the needs of Metro-North riders as they come back to the system,” said Catherine Rinaldi, President of MTA Metro-North Railroad. “I’m proud of our in-house staff and supporting I.T. experts who continue to innovate and find ways to make commuting safer and more reliable.”
Since its inception in 2013, the free mobile app, which is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store, has provided real-time status and schedule information to customers via smartphone along with destination, track assignment and real-time status of the next 12 trains at a given station. Features also include service alerts, fare information, accessibility information, parking availability and connecting services.
The new MTA eTix one-tap connection is a convenient addition for customers to buy mobile tickets. Approximately 40% of all tickets are purchased via eTix, a figure that has been growing since the app was launched in 2016. Tickets purchased using a mobile device cost the same as those purchased at a ticket machine. Customers can pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express or use digital wallets like Apple Pay and Master Pass.
Information technology experts are working on another update for later this fall that will enable passenger counts of each car, allowing riders to more efficiently social distance on trains, thanks to help from students and members of the tech community who participated in a Metro-North hackathon in July.
The hackathon was the first sponsored by the MTA in six years. Previous MTA-sponsored AppQuest challenges in 2012, 2013 and 2014 assisted in the development of scores of apps to help MTA customers navigate the system. For more information about the winners and Hackathon Challenge visit https://www.mtahackathon.org.