I am a frequent customer of the New York MTA subway system, and lately, I've been pretty observant as to what's been going on. How can things be improved to make traveling via the MTA a more pleasurable and (most importantly) desirable experience? I figured I'd be a bit productive on the train instead of just listening to my music or watching my podcasts. This is the list of things I've come up with that could possibly reshape the MTA into something amazing!
Before reading, I just wanted to say that I do realize that some of these might be a lot to ask for, but as time goes by, and as the MTA piles up on their multi-million dollar surplus, it would be easier to achieve them - eventually. Would you like these improvements in your city, too?
• Compact Disposal Units
This idea came to me a long time ago since I've been riding with the MTA for quite a while. Trash disposal units can be deployed throughout the train carts, possibly in the corners or under the seats. Garbage has been a pretty big issue since people don't have anywhere to throw away their coffee and bagel wraps in the morning - it ends up on the floor. This system can be linked to an quick external emptying mechanism by MTA employees without having to bombard the carts during rush hour.
• Wide Availability of Maps
MTA passengers including tourists and NY residents are always looking at the map. If the maps were more widely available and easily accessible, things would be a lot easier for everyone.
• Digitial Notifications of Upcoming Stops
This is already being implemented in a few carts, and they're very handy! The digital display shows what the upcoming stop is. There are also displays where the ads are which shows each stop and the trains you can transfer to at those stations. This is also good because it can be read by more people at once instead of the 2 usual maps located behind seated passengers.
• Improved Communication Systems
This was a huge problem a few years ago, and the MTA did a fair job at fixing up the train speakers and microphones for the conductors, but there are still too many carts that sound muffled and too low to understand what's being said.
• More Garbage Disposal Units (on platforms)
There should be more places where somebody can throw out their trash on the subway platforms. I've seen people literally throw their trash on the ground because the nearest trash bin was too far away and they had to catch the train - which would've been okay for them to carry it on the train if there were disposal units in there, too. There were times where I had to walk about 100 feet to get to the nearest bin.
• Improved Train Operation & Scheduling
I know this is a lot to ask for since most delays are caused by the passengers getting sick, or holding the doors on the platform, etc. I guess that means that if there was more security, this wouldn't be as big of an issue, but what do I know?
• More Emergency Calling Stations
I'm mentioning this because you never know when there's going to be a situation where somebody would need to make contact for a medical assistance, or a security case. This coincides with having improved manned security trained to help aid those in need.
• Increase in Displays of Artwork
A lot of stations in the city have artwork all around the place. A times, you can even consider the architecture itself to be the art, which is the point here, nonetheless. It would give passengers something to observe and appreciate, while it would give artists great opportunities to have their work seen.
• Improve Internal Promotions
Improving this would help people pay attention to important issues and keep them informed of the things that matter. Proper conduct, service updates, as well as sanitary and environmental standards are some of the things that could be concentrated on to boost the condition of the MTA.
• Kinetic Energy Generators
Implementing this would probably be the most complex out of all the things I mentioned - not to mention it being quite costly. Millions of people use the MTA every day. The turnslides in terminals and underground stations are used very frequently. If electricity was generated from all the activity, enough energy would probably be gathered to power most of the lighting system. This is probably wishful thinking at the moment since setting this up would take A LOT of planning, wiring, and...money.
These are just some of the things that I've come up with in hopes that one day, the NY MTA will catch up to the standards of other subway systems around the world. Now, let's just hope I get an email from an MTA representative saying how much the thought that I've put into this. Haha =)