Help is on the way at two Manhattan subway stations along the Lexington Avenue line, where today the MTA unveiled the pilot program for the newly-designed Help Points, "an easily recognizable communications tool for subway customers who need to report an emergency or ask for assistance." As we explained back in September, these high-tech gizmos enable straphangers to actually communicate with responders at NYC Transit's Rail Control Center.

If the new call boxes prove successful, the MTA plans to install the Help Points in all of the
system’s 468 subway stations. Each one is equipped with a bright blue beacon light that will
pulse when the unit is in action, helping first responders locate an injured or sick customer at that location. Each Help Point is ADA compliant, and will be individually addressable, so personnel at the Rail Control Center can pinpoint exactly where in the station
the call originated. The digital audio also provides much clearer sound than is available from the customer assistance intercoms used in subways now, and each one comes with a red emergency button and a green information button, to route calls to either the Rail Control Center or the station agent.

The first Help Points were unveiled today at the 23rd Street and Brooklyn Bridge Stations on the Lexington Avenue line. MTA Chairman Jay Walder and New York City Transit Department of Subways Senior Vice President Carmen Bianco were on hand to christen the points, and in a statement, Walder said, "This is just another step in our efforts to bring
new technology to customers in ways that make using the transit system better every
day."