MTA Long Island Rail Road riders can now access real-time ridership data for 100% of the fleet. The TrainTime app—revamped in June to allow riders to plan trips based on crowding data for the electric multiple-unit fleet—now includes diesel fleet data so riders can maximize social distancing for any commute.
How does it work? Sensors determine how many riders are on trains at any given time, and the data is securely transmitted to the app in real time.
“We’re using a trio of different systems to determine real-time customer loading: airbag pressure transducers, which continuously monitor car weight; infrared sensors above the doorways to detect entrances and exits; and for the cars where neither technology was available, we tapped into the preexisting security cameras and used AI [artificial intelligence] to determine how many passengers are on board,” LIRR Process Improvement Specialist Sunny Zheng said during the recent app-update announcement.
Another new feature of the in-house-built app: Riders can access “median ridership of the past seven trips of a specific train, at any station, updated every morning to include the prior day’s data,” according to the commuter railroad.
“Between the real-time data, the historical analysis, and the other features of the app, this is a transformative leap forward in rider-facing data,” Zheng said. “Our customers can now access all these innovations in one place, in every phase of their trip, whether they’ve been continuously riding with us or planning their return to the system over the coming weeks and months.”