Monday, September 24, 2012

Help Points coming to 102 NYCT stations

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

MTA New York City Transit announced Sept. 24 that it plans to install newly-developed Help Points—digital, instant communications devices—in 102 subway stations to give riders access to assistance and information with the touch of a button.

The installations follow the completion of a successful pilot at two Manhattan subway stations along the Lexington Avenue Line.

“For the first time, customers on the platform level of subway stations will have immediate access to the station booth and personnel at the Rail Control Center,” said the announcement. “Units will be positioned and spaced for easy access and high visibility. Created specifically for the subway environment, the Help Point is designed to be an easily recognizable communications tool for customers who need to either report an emergency or ask for travel directions.”

A blue beacon light that will pulse when the unit is in action alerts first responders in case there is an injured or sick customer at that location.

“These Help Points are the latest in new technology we’re bringing to our customers to make using the transit system better and safer every day,” MTA Chairman & CEO Joseph J. Lhota said. “Expanding access to assistance throughout stations and platforms will make it easier for customers to either report an emergency or obtain directions if they get lost.”

The eventual plan calls for the installation of Help Points in all of the system’s 468 subway stations, replacing the Customer Assistance Intercoms (CAI) units currently in use.