LIRR Unveils New Technology That Identifies Least Crowded Trains Before Riders Leave Home

Long Island Rail Road officials today unveiled a first-of-its-kind planning tool that allow passengers to choose trains based on recent crowding data. LIRR is the first transit agency globally to deploy the crowding data feature, which empowers passengers with information so accurate and precise that they never have to second guess the best time to use the system.

The newest feature gives passengers access to the median ridership of the past 7 trips of a specific train, at any station, updated every morning to include the prior day’s data. Passengers can plan their trip by selecting the time of their trip and which stations they are traveling between, and will see icons below specific trains gauging the capacity of each train. The icons range from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most crowded and 1 being the least crowded. By clicking on a specific train, passengers can then see the crowding data.

For instance, someone traveling from Babylon to Penn Station around 7:00AM can know ahead of time if the 6:49AM or the 7:10AM is least crowded based on the icons. For riders that do not board at end-of-line stations they can track how crowded a train gets at each station by clicking on that specific train. A passenger traveling from Amityville to Penn Station for example would know ahead of time if their train will become more crowded as they approach Jamaica station. This gives passengers interested in maximizing their social distance while riding the tools necessary to know their commute.

The function works by utilizing sophisticated sensors which can determine how many passengers are on board a train at any given moment. LIRR then securely transmits and processes all of this encrypted data in the cloud, and seamlessly provides it back out to customers in a useful form in real time.

The agency also expanded its passenger crowding information feature that debuted in June to its diesel fleet, ensuring that 100% of the LIRR fleet has this real-time data for customers to use when waiting on a platform for the next train. The quality of the data available puts the LIRR significantly ahead of any other railroad app globally, with customers now able to determine the number of passengers in any at any minute in real time.

The app, including these new features, was built entirely in-house by LIRR developers and staff. The team designed numerous bespoke solutions that are highly customized and tailored specifically to the needs of LIRR customers.


  • Real-time car seat availability for and M9 and M7 fleets (90% of LIRR’s electric fleet).
  • Real-time train location updated every three seconds.
  • Push notifications for track assignments at Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal and Jamaica Station.
  • Ability to share trips with others to coordinate i.e. picking up at stations.
  • Ability to bookmark favorite trips.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: September 8, 2020