LIRR unveils new technology that can help riders avoid crowded trains

There is new help for Long Islanders looking to avoid crowded trains during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ridership on the Long Island Rail Road is down because of the pandemic, in some case as much as 75%.
The LIRR unveiled new features on its app Tuesday to show riders if many people are aboard a train so they can properly social distance.
The LIRR train time app can accurately determine how many people are on a train in real time, across its entire fleet and on all branches.
The LIRR also showed riders historical data on ridership levels on each train from the last week or so. That way, the railroad says riders can pick and choose individual cars in real time, to see which ones are less full than others.
LIRR President Phil Eng says no other railroad in the world uses technology like this, which uses special sensors in the cars, weight sensors and infrared sensors plus cameras to determine how many people are aboard each car.
LIRR watchdog groups say the technology is incredibly valuable because it's expected more people will return to riding the rails in the fall.
The LIRR says about 24,000 people have already downloaded the app.