CTA Elevator Status & CTA Alerts

  CTA Elevator Status 
  Originally uploaded by juggernautco.

Sometimes the genesis of a feature (whether it is in software or in real life) is obvious in the feature itself. Here at the Logan Square stop on the Blue Line, there is an old-fashioned whiteboard showing the Elevator Status throughout the system.

I’m thinking that this is here because there was trouble in the past for people in wheelchairs who got on the train at one station with an elevator and find themselves trapped at a station without a working elevator. The answer– the feature that solves the problem– is to give people up-to-the-minute information about the status of elevators.

The problem is that the information is not available until you get down to the station of origin– after the person has begun their journey.

It seems to me that this is a classic use for the CTA Alerts system. People could sign up for a special "elevator status" alert and they are notified immediately of any change in status. That way they can make the right decision (take the bus, call a friend, etc.) at the right time. And it infinitely increases the number of people who could contribute to the system. After all, the first people who find out that an elevator is not working is riders!

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