After months of not taking the trains due to the coronavirus outbreak, people are now starting to take mass transit again.

And the LIRR updated their train time app Tuesday so people can now in real time see train car capacity before boarding the trains to help improve social distancing.

What You Need To Know

  • Tuesday the MTA LIRR Train Time App unveiled features for riders to monitor social distancing on trains.

  • The app allows riders to see train car capacity in real time.

  • Infrared sensors are used to indicate the weight of train cars which is translated into train car capacity.

  • Officials say the app offering the train capacity information and other features will give an increased sense of comfort for riders as they return to the system.

When commuters enter trip information new squares will appear on that app that represent the train cars. The squares will be different colors based on train car capacity. You want to opt for green cars that are less filled.



Officials say the updates will help people position themselves on the platform to board the cars with the least amount of people when the train arrives.

Infrared sensors on the train cars will monitor how many people come and go. GPS technology has been on the cars for two years that helped riders see how many minutes away the train was from arriving to the station. But now the sensors will detect the weight of each car which translates to how full each car is.

Before the pandemic, the LIRR train time app had 70,000 daily users. The MTA started working on the updates before the coronavirus even hit the New York area. The update for the app was something the agency was looking to do anyway. 

“They can choose a train a car and know in real time that they can sit and be spaced apart from other people or perhaps if they need to walk to a different car," LIRR President Phil Eng said.

NY1 spoke to people at the station on what they think of the new features.

“I will be away from any potential danger for my health for potential coronavirus and it will make me feel much safer," commuter Abel Elkhouly said.

“As a commuter, it would definitely make me feel safer during the pandemic. I don’t know how it would work when things get more back to normal for rush hour, it will probably be all red, but for now I think it would help," Commuter, Lou Gibbons said.

As of now, there is no word on when technology like this will be introduced for subway and MetroNorth riders. But officials say it’s something they are looking to develop in the future.