Amtrak’s new app helps travelers navigate NY’s Penn Station

WASHINGTON — New York’s Penn Station can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers or occasional train trippers to the Big Apple, but Amtrak has rolled out a free app that helps travelers navigate the chaos.

And it has a feature even the most seasoned Amtrak commuter will appreciate.

The “FindYourWay” app can direct travelers to everything from gates and exits, to ATMs and restaurants, and it uses beacon technology to do it.

“We placed about 400 beacons throughout the station, and what the beacon does is send a signal through Bluetooth to your smartphone that essentially tells you where you are,” Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams told WTOP.

The app can then provide relevant directions and information on points of interest within Penn Station based on user location.

Features on the app include train schedules and maps. (Courtesy Amtrak)

Amtrak said the FindYourWay app can also help prevent overcrowding in the station and provide a level of customer safety.

The app’s other user-friendly feature is its real-time “announcement board” for boarding trains.

“They’ll be able to receive a mobile notification and alert to see what track their train is boarding,” Abrams said. “They can go get a coffee while they wait. They can go sit and relax. They don’t have to stand in front of the big board anymore.”

The FindYourWay app currently works only in New York’s Penn Station, but Amtrak is considering other stations, including D.C.’s Union Station.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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