Today, for the first time ever, the MTA and Google introduced service alerts for the New York City subway system that will show up on Google maps.
It should now be easier, particularly for Android phone users, to track service cancellations and avoid being on the subway any longer than they have to be.
Service alerts pop up on Google maps when you click on a subway station, Sean Carlson, a Google spokesman, explained to Metro.
Service alerts also pop up when users search for directions in Google maps. For example, a click on the 77th Street subway station off the 6 line shows that the 6 is running on modified service, making express stops from Grand
Central to 125 St.
Look for a red exclamation mark followed by the words
“modified service," meaning there is a planned change.
For now, the warnings will only appear for planned MTA work, meaning if there are signal problems, a sick passenger, an emergency service interruption or train traffic, people are not going to hear about it — not yet, at least.
For now, the feature on Google maps is only available for the mobile Android “Maps” app. Unfortunately for iPhone users, the Google-Apple war continues, as the MTA feature is only available for iPhone users if they use their web browser.
Already in use in other cities
New York is not the first city to get the subway service alerts on Google maps. It's been in effect for a year, and already in use in other cities like Boston, Portland, Oregon, San Diego, San Francisco, Madrid, and Turin, Italy. It was just launched in London for the Olympics.