NYC’s Urban Panel Subway Network Wisely Adds Rider Updates

March 16, 2012 by Dave Haynes

This seems like such an obvious thing to be doing that you wonder they’ve not always done it, but the New York MTA, which operates the vast subway system, and CBS Outdoor have finished deploying and activating an Urban Panel network of some 100 doubled-sided displays over the stairwells leading into busy stations. The screens run ads, of course, but what’s new is that the screens on the stairway side side  includes passenger information, including route changes.

“We’re incredibly pleased to launch this project with our partners at the MTA,” says Rich Ament, Senior Vice President, Business Development, at CBS. “The addition of these displays marks a huge leap forward in the MTA’s ability to communicate with its customers in a real-time manner, while also opening up one of the busiest transit systems in the country to advertisers looking to reach this audience.”

The old online term for this was “sticky content” – the notion that the material you put in front of people is valuable and habitual. As people buzz their way off the sidewalks and into the subway systems, they don’t have any compelling reason to look at advertising over the stairwells. But if those screens will help get them to their destinations more easily, they’ll look at them every time.

The stairwell screen toppers have around for several years in NYC, so I assume the new ones are brighter and more energy-efficient. NY is one tough weather environment with four seasons, a lot of humidity.


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