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MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) officials yesterday unveiled a planning tool that displays an estimate of train capacity so riders can better plan their trips and maximize social distancing practices while riding.
The LIRR TrainTime mobile app provides the median ridership of the past seven trips of a specific train, at any station. The app then categorizes that train on a scale from “most crowded” to “least crowded.”
The function works by utilizing sensors which can determine how many passengers are on board a train. LIRR then transmits and processes this data in the cloud, and provides it back to the app. The crowding data is updated every morning to include the prior day’s data.
"We’re using a trio of different systems to determine real-time customer loading: airbag pressure transducers, which continuously monitor car weight; infrared sensors above the doorways to detect entrances and exits; and for the cars where neither technology was available, we tapped into the pre-existing security cameras and used AI to determine how many passengers are on board," said Sunny Zheng, LIRR’s process improvement specialist, in a press release.