Deployed at more than 30 subway stations across the city, the On the Go Travel Station is an innovative, interactive digital communications tool that provides MTA New York City Transit subway customers with a wealth of valuable information at their finger-tips. Customers can obtain information about their complete trip, from service status to trip planning to information about nearby destinations, resulting in an unprecedented amount of information accessible inside the subway system. The interactive screen, which employs capacitive touch technology, is housed in a stainless steel kiosk located at subway station entrances, in mezzanines and on platforms in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.Public Private Partnership
On the Go kiosks are located in some of the system’s busiest stations and is one of the largest transit based digital signage networks in the United States, currently providing transit information to more than 1.5 million subway daily.
The On the Go network is made possible through a unique public-private partnership with OUTFRONT Media (formerly CBS Outdoor) and Intersection (formerly Control Group). In this public-private partnership, NYC Transit is working with the two private sector partners who covered kiosk fabrication, screen user interface design and programming costs. The partner firms will recoup their investment through the sale of digital advertising displayed on the screens. NYC Transit is covering installation and maintenance costs, and will share in advertising revenue with both OUTFRONT Media and Intersection. As part of an expansion of the program, Intersection and OUTFRONT Media will deploy up to 90 additional kiosks each.
Having separate screen interfaces will allow NYC Transit to evaluate how best to display transit information and engage customers using a digital platform In each screen design, NYC Transit has programs agency information, including marketing, safety and service change messaging. During major service disruptions, NYC Transit can also take over parts of or the entire screen to provide service change and emergency information.
Real-time information for arrival times is currently available on the lines. While real-time data is developed for the rest of the system, we are using scheduled information for the remaining lines, based on the best information we have at this time (service delays and interruptions are not accounted for in the scheduling).
The Outfront Media Screen
OUTFRONT Media designed their kiosk application to provide relevant information to the everyday commuter on a default screen using a rotating cube (treadmill) on the upper portion of the screen. Once the interactive application is activated by touching the default screen, the approach of the OUTFRONT Media team has been to provide an intuitive user experience providing wayfinding applications such as an extension to MTA’s popular TripPlanner+ in a concise and appealing format.
Other useful information such as Overall Status of the Service, Real-time train departure, multi-touch maps for Subway, Railroad and Bus as well as neighborhood maps is included. A notable value in the design of the On the Go application has been to consider the passenger with reduced mobility by providing an adapted user experience as well as providing Escalator and Elevator Statuses for the entire MTA network. In order to enhance revenues for the MTA, each of these applications and screens have a complement for advertising and/or institutional messages.
The Intersection Screen
The Intersection kiosk was developed through an analysis of existing NYC Transit station signage flows and rider behavior. Leveraging existing rider experience studies, observational studies and interviews, Intersection identified three rider archetypes: locals familiar with every nuance of the system; commuters with regular routes who need extra guidance on familiar paths; and tourists who have little or no prior knowledge of the system. The overall goal for all archetypes was to create a platform that provides the most relevant information in the most efficient way possible while limiting the interaction to one touch as much as possible.
The guiding design principal of their interface is based on the fact that all riders use the paper map the same way – touching where they are and then tracing the route to their destination. Looking to improve on that paper experience, Intersection designed the digital interface to dim and recede information that a rider does not need so they can concentrate on the things they do need– like departure station, route line, transfer station, and destination station. In addition, system-wide data feeds allow the kiosk to suggest the fastest route to a selected destination based on the real-time status of trains at both the departure and transfer points.