The MTA launched a brand-new app this week that aims to give commuters in Queens and other areas of the city better information about how to get around.
“MyMTA” is now available for download on your smartphones and tablets and on the MTA’s website; both were launched on July 2. Still under development, the beta version of the app lets you check on the status of subways, buses and commuter rail service and even plan trips in advance.
“The MyMTA app and website are being custom built for MTA customers, by MTA customers,” said MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, who noted that, during initial development, the MTA reached out to “more than 2,000 customers through surveys, one-on-one interviews and conversations with riders in the subways, buses and railroads, during which we showed the app and documented their feedback.”
The beta version of MyMTA acts as a “first draft” and will be changed through input provided by those who use the app and website, Lhota said.
Among the services provided through the MyMTA app include the following:
- real-time arrival information for trains, subways and buses;
- service status information, including details about planned work and the causes of specific delays;
- finding nearby stations and bus stops through location access;
- unified trip functions that let you plan how to get around using a combination of different services, including ferries and commuter rail services in the metropolitan area; and
- personalized services, including saving favorite bus lines, stations, stops and trips.
The MTA is also planning a My Access-a-Ride (MYAAR), a function within the MyMTA app that will allow paratransit customers to plan and manage trips, book rides and track the location of Access-a-Ride vehicles.
It took the MTA six months to develop MyMTA based on information obtained from customers. The authority conducted more than 180 hours of one-on-one interviews and in-system “intercepts” in which the MTA approached customers, showed them app features and recorded their feedback.
In the months to come, the MTA noted, the authority will add other features to the app and website, including tracking buses in real time, a feature that lets customers report issues within the system, and subscription services for customized alerts.
Check out the new MyMTA website at new.mta.info. You can grade the features you see by clicking a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” button next to the various features.