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Transit Advocacy Group Urges MTA To Launch Interactive Technology

MTA Logo  (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

MTA Logo (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A new report finds the Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs to do a better job communicating with riders.

The MTA’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee released its report Tuesday, saying the mass transit agency needs to share more information to provide riders with better data.

According to the study’s author, Ellyn Shannon, it is currently difficult for riders to get information about trends at specific stations regarding their line’s performance or station conditions, and where they fit in the context of other areas in the system.

“Being able to visualize each station and being able to look at how much pain are the riders in at that station, have they been under construction, have they had recurring maintenance, has their service been suffering there?” Shannon told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.

The report, titled “The MTA in the Age of Big Data: Transforming the Wealth of MTA Data into Accessible, Meaningful, Visual, Interactive Information,” notes that the agency compiles a wealth of data but needs to translate the information into a more graphic and interactive format to make it easier to understand.

WEB EXTRA: Read The PCAC Report Here (pdf)

According to the report, the agency’s capital program has significant positive trend lines as a result of capital investments.

“But there’s nowhere that you can go on the MTA website to really find those trend lines,” Shannon said. “I think all the stakeholders have a hard time on where’s the MTA doing well, where is it struggling and needs to do better.”

The report concludes that the MTA should launch three pilot programs, including creating an app where riders can get data on MTA performance, Capital Projects and public hearings. Other recommendations include hardware and software upgrades to provide greater ease in deciphering the data.

The MTA has agreed to launch a working group to further the recommendations made in the report, according to PCAC.

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