New York MTA employees are getting 230 iPhone 6S models that they’ll use to help keep riders informed about train disruptions, according to the New York Daily News. Only one line of the city’s 27 lines (the E train line) is getting the smartphones for now. Ninety phones will go to conductors, while 140 will be distributed to platform controllers.
In a statement to The Verge, MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein said, “Providing clearer, more timely information for customers is an essential piece of the Subway Action Plan...through this pilot, we’ll be able to convey real-time information quickly to our staff.”
New York’s subway system is notorious for delays of late, especially at peak commute times. Now with the iPhones, each conductor or platform controller will get texts from the Rail Control Center, the brains of the operation, about the cause of a delay, the expected length it should affect service, and how riders can choose alternate subway routes to get around prolonged issues.
Conductors will be banned from using the phones for games or personal activity and won’t be able to use any headphones or earpieces, which might also distract them, the Daily News reports. It’s unclear how exactly those policies will be enforced.
Update November 7th, 6:37PM ET: This article was updated with a statement from the MTA.