MTR passengers will soon be able to get in-station step-by-step navigation at key interchange stations like Admiralty, helping the users find their way more easily to platforms, service counters, shops, ATMs, toilets, etc.
People in a rush can use a “Fast Exit” guide which leads them to specific train cars and doors for boarding that will put them within the shortest distance to their desired exits when they reach their destinations.
The new functions will come up with a key upgrade to the MTR’s bilingual smartphone app, which has over the years accumulated 3.3 million downloads.
The beta version of “In-station Finder” will first cover the 65,000 square meter superstation in Admiralty, a vital interchange hub for the Tsuen Wan Line, Island Line, South Island Line and the future Shatin to Central Link, according to a press release.
Around 1,000 beacon devices have been installed throughout the station’s 7 levels, enabling smartphone Bluetooth transmission and positioning to guide passengers to 10 platforms, 29 escalators, 18 shops as well as 7 exits and ensure that they don’t get lost in the massive underground labyrinth.
Using clear, visualized station layout maps, passengers get instructions like “turn right”, “turn left”, “go ahead”, “take escalator downstairs”, etc. to guide them to platforms and facilities.
“In-station Finder” will cover more interchange stations including Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Tong, Mong Kok, Prince Edward and North Point in due course.
About 500 passengers including wheelchair users and tourists participated in the tests and provided feedback.
MTR will launch a Pokemon Go-like in-app mobile game, “Find Kee Gor”, to promote the “In-station Finder” function, when the enhanced MTR app is available for download on Sept. 4.
During non-peak hours inside Admiralty Station, passengers playing the game on their phone can hunt and capture Kee Gor, the MTR mascot, and click on him to enter an instant lucky draw for rewards like souvenirs, free rides and cash coupons of up to HK$500.
By entering the starting and ending points of the journey, the new “Fast Exit” function would recommend passengers to board a specific train car and door, which is the nearest to the station exit of their destinations, helping them to reach their destination more quickly. This is especially handy at large stations that usually have more than one concourse and multiple exits.
Passengers can also choose route options like escalators, stairs or lifts, and the function will recommend shortest routes accordingly.
The MTR app’s existing Traffic News function provides timely operational and alternative transportation information to passengers during extended train service delays.
A green, yellow and red lights system will be introduced to represent the real-time status of each rail line. A hyperlink to Citymapper, a third party journey planning app, will also be added to provide passengers with comprehensive alternative transport information according to their needs when train service incidents occur.
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