What if NYC Offered Subway Riders Free E-Books?

Posted On Mon, March 9, 2015 By

Posted On Mon, March 9, 2015 By In City Living, ideas from abroad, Technology, Transportation

M Subway Library scan. Image via Fast Co. Exist

Here’s a cool idea we’d love to see implemented in Manhattan: A free e-library for folks who ride the subway. Earlier this year, Beijing subway operator Beijing MTR rolled out a new digital library that would allow its underground commuters to download a book, at no cost, by simply scanning a QR code inside a train car. As you may have guessed, the initiative is looking to get citizens to spend more time reading over mindlessly watching videos or playing games.

beijing subway line e library qr codeM Subway Library scan. Image via Fast Co. Exist

Called the “M Subway Library,” books in the program are curated bi-monthly by the National Library of China from more than 70,000 titles. Riders can choose from 10 books every couple of months, which range from the classics to sci-fi, each geared towards the passenger majority’s reading preferences (which for Beijing means young professionals). Currently, the books are only accessible in the train cars but adding QR-adorned posters to the platforms are also being considered where they make sense logistically.

NYC Subway Still Runs on 1930s Technology, NYC Subway history, subway technology, nyc subway updates,metropolitan transit authority, MTA's five-year capital programImage: Before smart phones

As more and more NYC subway stations get wifi connections, this idea doesn’t seem all that far-fetched for our fair city. Not only would the e-library benefit city inhabitants, but it would be a great way to highlight the New York Public Library‘s (and the MTA‘s) increased efforts to go high-tech. And who can argue that a quiet neighbor is far more palatable than someone playing Angry Birds at full volume for an hour as they head into work?

[Via Fast Co. Exist]


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