MTA Releases App With Real-Time Subway Countdown Clocks


mta-subway-timeYou can now find out when the next subway train will arrive simply by looking at your smartphone.

The MTA launched a smartphone app that shows real-time train arrival times on seven of the city’s 24 lines.

The initial release of Subway Time covers the 156 stations of the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 trains, as well as the 42nd Street S shuttle.

“Today is the day that generations of dreamers and futurists have waited for,” said outgoing MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “The ability to get subway arrival time at street level is here. The days of rushing to a subway station only to find yourself waiting motionless in a state of uncertainty are coming to an end. Now, you can know from the comfort of your home or office whether to hasten to the station, or grab a cup of coffee as part of a leisurely walk.”

MTA Subway Time is designed to handle up to 5,000 incoming requests per second. To improve performance and reliability, the data that powers Subway Time is among the first MTA products to be hosted on an open cloud-based system. By storing data in the cloud, as managed by the company Acquia, the MTA can organically expand and contract its data needs to match changing demand as it fluctuates over the course of the day and the year.

The cloud-based approach proved its worth during Superstorm Sandy, when demand for the website spiked to many times normal levels. Rather than strain its own computer servers, the MTA migrated the website to the Acquia cloud, where it remained available and reliable throughout the storm to provide immediate information to customers.

Only part of the subway system is equipped with signalling that can generate a digital feed that can be pushed out to smartphones.

Read more at CBS NEW YORK

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