NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The MTA is launching a new app to help commuters navigate and cope with subway disruptions.
As CBS2's Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, last week's subway meltdown on the E, F, N, Q, R & W lines had riders boiling – straphangers were packed like sardines, platforms overflowing, lines for alternate bus service indescribable.
"It's extremely frustrating," one commuter said.
While it may take time to fix the tracks and the signals that cause the breakdowns, the MTA is about to unveil an app that it hopes will take some of the sting out of it.
Marcia Kramer: "What if, for example, your subway is delayed? Will it tell you A) it's delayed and B) how to get around it?"
MTA Managing Director Ronnie Hakim: "It will and it will tell you what our service changes are."
Hakim took Kramer to Grand Central Station to give her the first peek at the new app, which will give commuters real-time information about delays on subways, buses, Metro-North and the Long Island Railroad. But that's not all – you'll also be able to find out if the elevator or escalator at your station is working.
"Very important to our community of both disabled customers and customers with strollers," said Hakim.
The app will instantaneously answer the straphanger's lament: How will I ever get to work?
"They're just used to taking the same thing all the time," MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said. "That's the most important part -- it will open up a world of possibilities, on-time information up to the second."
"I think it's a brilliant idea," one woman said. "It would really make life so much simpler, and less frustrating and more efficient."
"Then you could make different plans. You don't run up to it and find you don't have any other option," another added.
"It would mean quite a bit. I could notify my direct reports, it would be very helpful," a man said.
"Twenty-25 years ago, I wish we would have had that complimented," another added.
The MTA says the new app will be unveiled soon. But for some commuters, it couldn't be soon enough.
The new "MYmta" app is just one of a number of programs the agency has launched to help improve the commute. Two months ago, it also started a program that sends managers and office staff into the field to help direct riders in the case of disasters.
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