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New Subway Station Intercoms

Photo of new subway station intercom

MTA New York City Transit's newly-designed Help Point Intercom (HPI) prototype marks an important shift toward providing subway customers waiting in stations with a reliable, highly visible and easy-to-use communications device that will offer instant access to help and information with the touch of a button.

Created specifically for the subway environment, the HPI is designed to be an easily recognizable communications tool for subway customers who need to report an emergency or simply want to ask, "What train goes to the Rockaways?" Customers can expect faster response times, improved capabilities and much clearer audio than they are accustomed to with the Customer Assistance Intercoms currently in use in subway stations.

Their unique appearance will make the HPIs easily identifiable whether located on station mezzanines or platforms. The sleek, modern design is metal with a blue light on top to enhance its visibility. The units are designed to be mounted vertically on either a station wall or platform column. The HPIs will be easy to use and have induction loop technology for the hearing impaired. The new technology devices will also be camera capable.

In addition to the speaker and the microphone, the control panel contains a red emergency button and a green information button. Emergency calls are routed to the subway Rail Control Center while information calls are sent to Travel Information or the station booth.

Plans currently call for a pilot installation in two stations along the Lexington Avenue Line—Brooklyn Bridge and 23rd Street Stations. The pilot will also serve as an evaluation platform to compare wired and wireless units. The full roll out will be determined after the evaluation of the pilot.