As great as the NYC subway system can be— especially when Uber prices are surging— there’s plenty of room for improvement. From accidents to intentional harm, the current open design of the transportation system leaves too much room for fatal error.
But mte-labs, the experimental side of Brooklyn design studio Meet the Edge, hopes to improve the outdated system. They’re proposing a new subway barrier system that increases safety features and allows for seating, newsstands, interactive displays, and installations. Currently, the plan is just conceptual, but the design agency is progressively pursuing architects and engineers to help bring it to fruition.
The project serves as a helpful reminder of what innovative design can do. Simply accepting things as they are is an act of complacency, which too often leads to obsolescence. Mte-labs proves that creative thinking beyond the status quo is crucial to building a better world.
For many New Yorkers, the NYC Subway system is the only means of travel. This means commuting and safety must go hand in hand. We want to ensure riders don’t have to think twice where to stand on the platform or be on alert every time one passes the turnstyle. Subway barriers will provide a more comfortable experience and a much needed sense of security that has been lost.
We believe transportation systems around the world are in the business of connectivity – bringing humans together.
Why do we limit the subway to simply be a mode of transportation? Is it because we’re complacent with its current set-up or uninterested in imagining what it could be? It’s no secret here in our backyard of NYC, the MTA has faced its fair share of criticism regarding public safety and overall rider experience. More than a safety barrier, our proposed design is sparking conversation around how to unite strangers through the shared experience of accessing the subway system.
As technology continues to accelerate and the modes of how we travel become more efficient, the underlying infrastructure of our metropolitan environments must be examined. The introduction of the platform doors will pave the way for an automated subway system. No interference on the tracks means trains can run without a driver — reducing costs and wait times for a more optimized city. By researching the NYC subway system our proposed designs are meant to provoke curiosity. At MTE we are unlocking our clients creative edge, with MTE Labs we are on a mission to push the boundaries of design and the project you just read is only the beginning.