As part of the MTA’s $836 million emergency action plan to fix the city’s ailing subway system, train conductors and platform controllers will be equipped with iPhones (not the new, fancy iPhone X—more like the older 6s) that will better equip them to help commuters when problems arise.
The New York Daily News reports that 230 phones will be dispersed to transit workers, with 140 going to platform employees and another 90 to conductors. The phones will function as a direct line between MTA workers and the Rail Control Center, alerting them via text message to delays, lag times, and alternate routes. (Good thing that stations are now Wi-Fi equipped.)
“We're focused on better customer service and through this pilot we'll be able to convey real-time information quickly to our staff, who can better inform our passengers about service,” said MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein in a statement.
The pilot program will be rolled out on the E train to start. As part of the deal, MTA workers are forbidden to use their gear for any personal business or leisurely activities, meaning headphones are a no-no, as are non-work related calls or texts.
In fact, conductors must not “acknowledge or read the messages while stopped in a station,” according to the Daily News, and are only allowed to relay any information received from the control center after the train has departed its station.