Posted by clubsodaandsalt on December 16, 2006
The MTA has little electronic vending machines throughout the system. Instead of using them purely to sell MetroCards, why couldn’t they also be used as information kiosks? They could have station-specific information, explaining what trains would get you to point B, or warning you about service changes. They’d be MUCH better at this than a lot of the token clerks, frankly. I don’t see why this would be difficult, as the machines already have communication devices, touch screen capabilities, and software. Get on this, MTA!
ADDENDUM: An obvious objection to this is that you might be in a hurry to get a Metrocard and get stuck in line behind some tourist who decides to spend hours mapping out potential trips. This could be easily solved by having most of the machines remain Ticketing Only.
The thing is, this idea is bloody obvious. I’m sure it’s occurred to thousands of riders before me. Why hasn’t it happened? Personally, I think it’s because the MTA doesn’t have people who think about the user experience, and that’s disconcerting. Anyone who’s ever read the “Alternate(sic) Route” suggestions of the MTA’s construction warnings will agree — it’s as though none of these people ever take the damned trains!