With a population now nearing nine million, more than 200,000 businesses and a destination for a record-breaking 65 million tourists last year, New York’s reputation as one of the most popular and powerful cities on the planet, continues to grow.

But with great power, comes great responsibility. With more than 6,000 miles of roads crammed inside just 783 square kilometres, ease of navigation around the city and having access to local information is crucial for residents (New Yorkers) and tourists alike.

THE CHALLENGE

The New York Subway, first installed back in 1904, is the city’s most popular go-to mode of transport, with almost six million people boarding trains from its 472 stations each day.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), a corporation responsible for public transportation in the U.S. state of New York, is in the middle of a $19 billion station and signal upgrade programme.

Traditionally, static signs have been used to provide standard timetabled information and a basic map of the local area at the entrances to subway stations. However, as part of the upgrade programme, the MTA wanted to adopt a more digital approach, providing a broader, more versatile and more enhanced public service and experience.

London based Trueform Digital – leading designers, manufacturers and installers of indoor and outdoor displays for more than 40 years – has strong presence in New York, having designed, built and installed more than 1,000 bespoke signage products throughout the city over the past eight years (including Times Square) and was a natural choice for the upgrade.  

Jonathan Morley, CEO, Trueform Digital, commented: “Our relationship with the City of New York was established some eight years ago and over this time Trueform have secured long term contracts and have provided significant infrastructure throughout the city. This latest project is another extension of this great relationship.”

THE SOLUTION

Taking just four months to complete, Trueform’s US-based team created a range of purpose-built digital totem kiosks. Each incorporates an outdoor digital screen, providing live travel information (train times/status), local maps, plus the flexibility to display a range of other different content and messaging – including advertising.

The kiosks are fully ingress protected (IP), specifically designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and temperatures (hot and cold), as well as being viewable in direct sunlight. They have also been designed using materials to withstand aggressive acts of vandalism and can be monitored and managed entirely remotely, ensuring minimal downtime should something ever go wrong.

As part of the station upgrade programme, ten kiosks (named simply as ‘digital customer information totems’) have so far been successfully installed across the city. Installations have been hailed an instant hit with the public, providing greater levels of information and engagement, while helping people get to where they want to be. More Trueform built kiosks will be added as the upgrade programme continues.

Jonathan Morley, the CEO, Trueform Digital, added: “Trueform had a proven track record of successful delivery of products into transportation environments over many trading years. We know what we are doing, and this experience makes the decision to choose Trueform over less experienced competitors a clear one. 

“We are incredibly proud to have provided such an important piece of public transport technology to one of the world’s most iconic transit agencies in one of the world’s most iconic cities.”