Cool, new interactive Metro Information Tower debuts at Union Station

Kiosk (2 of 4)

Kiosk (4 of 4)

If you’re visiting Union Station on Saturday for the 75th anniversary festivities, please check out the new Metro Information Tower that looks a little like the monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey” but doesn’t leave you guessing about its purpose in life.

The 17-foot tall interactive kiosk in the Union Station East Portal – there’s only one up and running so far but other, smaller demo kiosks will be around Union Station tomorrow — just might turn out to be your go-to travel tool. Please see the video posted below.

Touchscreen displays include a station guide, a timeline of Union Station history, nearby Metro Destination Discounts that are available to TAP card holders, Nextrip real-time arrivals, the Metro Trip Planner, Metro transit schedules and maps and variable options this weekend including Instagram uploads of Union Station photos hash-tagged with #LAUS75.

On May 3, the demo kiosk near the Information Booth in Union Station will run the only known footage of the 1939 Union Station opening. It was shot by famed Jiminy Cricket animator Ward Kimball.

Metro is also planning to install more touchscreen displays in the future at other Metro Rail stations as part of the Interactive Kiosk Pilot Program.

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Here’s the lineup of entertainment for Union Station’s 75th anniversary

Metro announces new 75th anniversary commemorative TAP cards


10 replies

  1. Was not impressed with the content. It’s a giant iPad connected to a website. Should be designed with a simpler user interface, like an iPhone App.

  2. The majority of people walk well to the side of the kiosk (close to the wall).
    Exactly the problem. Be polite walk on the right. Image a double yellow line running from the middle of the stairs and curving around to the middle of the tunnel and then walk on the right side of that line not the left(the kiosk is in the middle of one of these lanes of traffic). You don’t drive on the left even if it is the shortest distance between two points….at least I don’t.
    You don’t think an agency like Metro would do a simple pedestrian traffic analysis before installing the kiosk?
    Know for a fact that they don’t, no agency does. I’m a traffic engineer and have spent decades studying traffic patterns and human behavior while operating motor vehicles, bi-ped vehicles or the human vehicle.
    Assertion that the kiosk is in the direct path of travel and is causing people to have to substantially alter their path to avoid it.
    Never said people have to alter their path…said the mindless herd creates a SAFETY issue because they can’t walk a few extra steps.
    Every year thousands of people are injured at transit facilities in falls caused by other people and tens of thousands more are knocked down all because people are too lazy to walk an extra 10 feet. The transit agency is the one that ends up paying for these injuries which in reality is money out of your pocket. Falls are the second largest cause of accidental injury in the U.S. Falls cost the transit industry millions annually in claims settlements and have a societal cost for lost time and hospitalization and the true cost is actually much higher as only one out of every nine or ten victims of a falling accident file a claim for damages against a transit property, alleging negligence. Design improvements are warranted to reduce incident rates, severity, and claims.
    Metro has a Customer Code of Conduct that includes no bikes on escalators or the stairs and the bike must be in the bicycle designated area, no rolling luggage or wheelchairs on the escalators and No blocking or impeding the free movement of another person or creating a danger to other people and the herd mentality in transit stations impedes free movement and creates a danger. Your right to walk wherever you want ends when you bump into me.

  3. Karl, the kiosk is not in the middle of the heavily traveled path between the Red/Purple Lines and Union Station. It IS 10 feet over from the main path of travel, as is evidenced everyday during the morning and evening rush – the majority of people walk well to the side of the kiosk (close to the wall). You don’t think an agency like Metro would do a simple pedestrian traffic analysis before installing the kiosk? They’re not out to get you, they want the most efficient location possible, and this location is great – not too out of the way to not be visible to passengers, yet still away from the direct path of travel. Video surveillance would quickly disprove your assertion that the kiosk is in the direct path of travel and is causing people to have to substantially alter their path to avoid it. The shortest distance from the Red/Purple Line to the Union Station passageway misses the kiosk by at least 10 feet.

  4. What I want is for people to walk with a little courtesy and common sense but sense neither is all that common the places that have a lot of pedestrians need to make sure it is safe for everyone. The rules for the efficient movement of traffic are the same for a car driving down the road or a pedestrian walking down the sidewalk or walking through Union Station but people can’t figure that out on their own, when you had fire drills in grade school did everyone make a mad dash for the exit or were you taught a common sense method of efficient traffic movement like walk on the right side of the hall? We wouldn’t put an information kiosk in the middle of the highway to help lost drivers(we create areas for them to get out of traffic) or excuse people who drive on the wrong side of the road because they are only delaying traffic a few seconds. Moving the sign over 10 feet would have gotten it to the side of the walkway. I walk with a cane and trying to walk through this area is difficult. I’ve had my cane kicked out of my hand but hey its ok… I’ll only be delayed a few seconds because after all it is me that can’t properly navigate through the mindless herd of commuters.

  5. I don’t understand all this fuss over the location – I use this route every single work day and I never have issues getting through – sure, it may take an extra 2 seconds to go around a big crowd, but is this what it’s come to? Complaining about an information kiosk? Shouldn’t we be celebrating Union Station not being as barren as it was just a few years ago? Karl, maybe a big city with high levels of pedestrian traffic isn’t for you.

  6. Especially with all the people who will wait for the sign to ask them “RUOK?”

  7. Karl,

    Of course Metro is going to put information such as this sign in a high-traffic area. Why would anyone wanna place information where people won’t see it? Have you ever been to transit stations in Asia such as Tokyo or Seoul? The agencies there place interactive kiosks in places where there’s a lot of foot traffic, because that’s where it’s needed most. I’m sure providing information to a lost commuter is more essential than making sure your walk from A to B isn’t delayed by a few mere seconds. Honestly, do you not know how to navigate properly in a crowded environment? Because, from what I studied after the installation, the flow of pedestrian movement was just fine.

  8. Steve; I walked through here every afternoon and it is a problem. People come out of the portal and walk on the left side of the walkway and if you are trying to go into the portal it is like walking into a herd of stampeding cattle and the placement of the sign forces them even more to the left. The posted pitcure even shows this

  9. Putting this sign in the middle of a high pedestrian traffic area is a dumb idea. Doesn’t Metro have anyone who understands pedestrian traffic review plans before they build something. They already have a huge pedestrian traffic problem here and they just made it worse. Be polite walk on the right.

    • Hi Karl;

      I’ve been in the east portal the last two afternoon rush hours and there wasn’t any problem with people getting around the Information Tower.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source