In the past, subway systems have required people to be on hand during regular hours as station clerks. In the smart subway system, these people would be responsible for providing information to passengers and to help with managing ticket-related concerns.
However, the evolution of the smart subway could make it so such station clerks might not be required. The new technology would help with providing people with actual real-time information relating to what they can find out of a subway system. This data would help anyone with planning a station visit while also being rather easy to follow. Instead of having to ask a station clerk who might not find the information one needs, data will be fully automated and made available to all who visit a station.
How the smart subway works
A smart subway station center would use a distinct setup. It would provide people with real-time information on what is happening with a subway.
The details that might be included on the center listing would include points on how much time it would take for trains to come to a station. This could include GPS readouts that list approximate data on how many minutes it would take for a train to arrive based on how it is moving along a route.
Information on what is happening with a subway system could also be posted. A station would use a Wi-Fi connection to link up to a network run by the main group responsible for operating the subway. The information could include points like how certain routes are being altered based on special events or if construction plans are in the way in some form.
Such support would give people immediate information on what is happening inside a subway system. This would come out in real-time to give people the data they need so they can prepare their rides and get ready for using the subway.
This is something that is becoming easily noticeable at many Metro stations in the Washington DC area. The Metro service uses detailed reports on video screens that list information on what routes are open and when trains will come along. This information is updated through a private Wi-Fi network with regular information updated and automated to ensure people understand everything happening within the system.
Of course, people would use machines to buy cards for access to the subway or they could use their mobile devices. This improves upon how well people can get onto the subway and move forward on it. The Ventra system used by the CTA rail service in Chicago works with kiosks for ticket purchases plus an online app that people can load money onto. By using this, it becomes easier for people to get their tickets ready without having to contact any station clerks for help.
What About the Old Clerks?
The station clerks would not necessarily be out of jobs as the smart subway evolves. Station clerks would continue to work but as people who would walk around to assist people who have concerns with things like how to buy tickets at a machine or to help with monitoring how the tracks and other features at a station are operating. Such clerks would now look around at more functions within such a station to ensure that people at a station get the help they need.
A good example of this can be found in the New York MTA system. This system has been using station clerks for years but the group is aiming to move those clerks out to the floor. They would serve as people who assist others around a station while monitoring what is happening with safety and maintenance plans in mind. The things that would be done will vary by each subway system but it is worth taking a look into regardless.
This development for the smart subway is a significant point that deserves to be noticed. The potential for subways to work with automated station information will make it so station clerks can do other things to help passengers while at these stations. It also becomes easier for passengers to help themselves as they are looking for data on what is occurring within a certain subway system.