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Street Level Stations

Why is the Subway Stuck Underground?

Imagine a safer, cleaner and more seamless daily commute. (Yes, it is possible!) We see the Covid-19 era as an opportunity to rethink city design and transform transit for the better. While NYC and the MTA are taking measures to make transit safer with nightly cleaning and social distancing, those changes don’t address the fundamental problem: subways and buses put crowds into small enclosed spaces. This is the situation we need to avoid, according to scientists and epidemiologists.


Design Strategy
Industrial Design
User Experience Design - UI/UX

We felt that focusing on public space could have the most benefit to the most people, and no matter what, we kept coming back to the transit system

— Mark Prommel, PENSA partner

Street Level Stations

With plans in place to close up to 100 miles of city streets to traffic, opening up more pedestrian space, we should be considering the most impactful ways to use this space to benefit the public.

Street-level stations will connect pedestrians to subways, buses, taxis/car sharing and bike sharing into one open-air waiting area. This will provide the first-ever seamless experience across all modes of urban transportation. Information on incoming trains and buses, including their capacity, is available at a glance. If you’re heading underground, go when you know there is a train approaching with capacity. Additionally, there is no need to wait in an enclosed space until the last minute.

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Street Level Platforms

Busier stops and hubs require more space for open air waiting. Street-level Platforms will elevate the experience and offer WIFI connected outdoor lounges to work and wait, complete with inviting easy-to-clean furniture.

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Street Level Plazas

The ultimate realization of the new open-air transit system is the Street-level Plaza. These inspiring spaces will include even more lounge seating and have multiple areas to access transportation, becoming welcomed outdoor spots to shop, eat or pickup from local restaurants — while you wait.

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