This week, I observed people in the subway utilizing the way-finder machines that are located on most of the subway waiting areas. These interfaces allow the user to input data, search the map, and also see service changes (in allegedly live) interactions.
Regardless of what the screen was left on last, there are two options at the bottom of the screen (positioned similarly to the ‘smart’ phones we use) that read ‘Maps & Directions’ and ‘Service Announcements’.
In observation, most people went to ‘Service Announcements’ almost anytime there was an unintelligible message over the loud speaker… cue in muffled noise. cue in search. Occasionally, I would see a tourist-looking individual (or group) trying to navigate the map.
All and all, this is a useful tool if you don’t have access to an app like city mapper that makes all of this simple. A particular benefit that I noticed is it encourages you to not have your phone out and distracted (as all of the repeating signage and messaging warns). It is a useful tool nonetheless, and I have found it helpful at times, myself. Definitely worth a gander if curiosity becomes you.