Bringing Some Sense to the JFK AirTrain Arrival Boards

These things are so insane, it’s kind of a shame to fix them.

Update: The Port Authority of NY & NJ reached out to me to help make this proposal a reality, and it is now live in Terminal 8 of the JFK AirTrain. Read my latest write-up on the project.

I recently returned from vacation and flew in to JFK. While waiting for the AirTrain, I took stock of the amazing status screens — I’d seen them before, but never really appreciated their total gaudiness and lack of practicality:

The clouds! The tiny text showing when the next train comes (the most important piece of information!) The duplicated and equally unclear ways of showing the route! It’s beautiful!

Let’s do a quick teardown. First, just get rid of all those backgrounds to make everything higher-contrast:

Let’s pick just one of the “next stops” visuals. I like the one that shows it more spatially better:

How about we make the time for the next train actually readable?

And while we’re at it, let’s be clearer that there are two different trains that stop here:

To top it off, make the map easier to read and clearer about what’s where:

Here it is “in action.” As always, let me know what you think — this was an easy target but I’m sure there’s more I could have done! Respond on Medium or find me on Twitter @AdamFC.

Originally published at