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Design Student Posts Ideas To Improve The Subway Online

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Everybody's got an opinion on improving the subway, and one Queens design student is sharing a hundred of his online as part of a class project. NY1's Transit reporter Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Ask any New Yorker, they'll tell you what's wrong with the subway. But a Queens design student has come up with 100 ways to improve the system.

Randy Gregory is putting one idea online every day as part of his graduate work at Manhattan's School of Visual Arts.

"Since I ride the subway so much, it kind of made sense for me to think about ways to improve the experience," Gregory says.

He is posting his ideas at improvesubway.tumblr.com, where he has theorized about putting antimicrobial benches on subway platforms, enclosing the space between cars so passengers can walk through and adding signage to platform strips to let riders know if they are going local or express.

"So many millions of people use the subway every day, and we are in New York, the greatest city in the world. So there have to be things we can improve here," Gregory says.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is already working on some of his ideas, such as adding touchscreen information panels to stations.

Gregory's on day 66 of his project, so he has got a few more ideas to share.

NY1 has asked some straphangers what they think of some of his ideas, like adding USB chargers to subway cars.

"I think it's very important these days to have on the go and your phone, everybody needs it," a rider says. "Obviously you need to charge it at some stage because phone batteries don't last that long."

Another idea is putting bike racks on trains.

"Uh, that's not possible. We already don't have space on the trains, the trains are always packed, so no," a straphanger says.

Then there is a long-shot idea on creating odor detectors linked to signs outside subway cars to let riders know if that car stinks.

"As crazy as that sounds, yes, I think it would be great if we had something that would detect the odor of the subway," a rider says.

"The idea is that I try to present an idea, then that idea could lead to cheaper solutions, lead to other ideas," Gregory says.

Some ideas may never make it past Gregory's website, but the MTA says it's happy to hear them - and actually granted Gregory a meeting on Tuesday.

Got A Transit Tip?

Do you have a news tip or story idea about the city's transit systems? Send an email to NY1 Transit Reporter Jose Martinez.

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