This new LIRR app shows how crowded a train is in real-time


New Yorkers who don’t often ride the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) probably don’t know that, until now, users had to download a variety of different apps on their phones to figure out the train schedule, buy tickets and garner information about one of the most decrepit transportation lines in all of the state.

Alas, the travel gods have listened to our incessant complaints and, as of this week, would-be riders will be able to use the MTA’s new TrainTime app to manage their trips at once. Let’s say it together: it’s about time!

All in all, the TrainTime will allow both LIRR and Metro-North commuters to buy tickets on the platform, check schedules and also make use of an entirely novel feature: the ability to see how crowded each car is in real time. The system uses a color-coded map to indicate how many seats are available on the train and in which areas.

According to Gothamist, the information on the all-in-one app is “updated every two seconds through GPS sensors attached to cars. Real-time train capacity data is determined by the weight of each car.”

New LIRR app
Photograph: Marc A. Hermann/MTA

This is a game changer, if you ask us.

The MTA unveiled the exciting update at Grand Central Terminal earlier this week, in the midst of a pretty all-encompassing effort to ameliorate the system as a whole. 

As previously reported, Penn Station is finally getting a massive renovation and an expansion that includes a new LIRR station in midtown East officially dubbed Grand Central Madison.

The MTA also recently announced that cell service between all subway stations will eventually become a reality (it will take a decade, though) while the Port Authority Bus Terminal is in the process of being replaced.

Things are looking up, New York!



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