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New app turns New York's subway stations into art museums

A new smartphone app from the MTA provides information on public art installations throughout the subway system in New York.
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Written by Sarah Korones, Contributing Editor on

For New Yorkers, the subway is generally a get in, get out type of experience. But a new smartphone app from the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) might give commuters reason to pause before they shuffle up the stairs.

The app, which is called Meridian, draws attention to the MTA’s large collection of public art by guiding both tourists and locals through installations in subway stations throughout the city.  Available for the iPhone and Droid, the app offers walking directions to various pieces of art tucked away under the city.

Public art graces 236 subway and commuter rail stations in New York thanks to the MTA’s Art for Transit Program, which began in 1985.

You might wonder how useful Meridian’s software will be in spaces that don’t typically offer cell service, such as underground subway stations, but developers point to the fact that the app can be synced ahead of time. Users can input their entrance and see directions to works by the artists closest to them.

"The goal of this is that the public owns it," Arts for Transit director Sandra Bloodworth, told the Wall Street Journal. "This is their collection and they can take it with them when they go."

Transit Art Gets News App [WSJ]

Images: Metropolitan Transit Authority (Top), Meridian (Right)

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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