Monday, December 4, 2017

New Brooklyn Business Offers Real-Time Train Updates in Local Stores

A Brooklyn startup has tied its success to local subway delays. The company, called The NYC Train Sign company, creates LED real-time train countdown signs for stores, bars, restaurants and even homes using commuter data. Based in Bushwick, the company was founded by Timothy Woo in 2016 when he realized that unreliable L train schedules and poor cellphone service often left people waiting at subway stations for much longer than necessary. 

The goal of the startup is to help people take control of their schedules by knowing exactly when their train is going to arrive. NYC Train Sign co-founder and head of marketing Dara Denney explained that the intent is not to "hate on the MTA," though the "system needs to be fixed to improve the average New Yorker's quality of life. NYC Train Sign was created to take back some control we lose while dealing with delays, stalled trains and trains that never come."

According to Woo, more than 15 stores currently have one of the signs on display. Online sales have also soared since last month.

Local businesses have stated that the signs have helped to support their business as well.
"Customers might squeeze in another round because they can see that they have the time," explained Pizza Party owner Kristen North. "It's a no-brainer. I just think of all the times I've left a bar just to end up sitting on the subway platform for the amount of time if could have taken me to have another drink."

Houdini Kitchen Laboratory partner and manager Massimiliano Bartoli added that the signs are particularly beneficial during the winter. "In cold weather, people wait until the last minute to go to the subway," he said. "It's a great idea. It's like the cherry on the cake when you see it."