Monday, August 20, 2012

Boston Subway Activates Countdown Signs

(Via the Newswire)

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority activated countdown signs at its South Station subway stop this week. The signs tell riders when the next trains will arrive, the start of a pilot program that could be extended to all 51 Red, Orange, and Blue Line stations by the end of the year, the agency announced.

The arrival times, ticking down in one-minute increments, will appear on LED signs that have hung above platforms and in station lobbies since 2007 but that until now have displayed only the date, time, and announcements.

Although the agency has moved ahead with technology providing predictions online, and through smartphone applications, it has lagged behind many other cities’ systems in telling customers in stations when a train is coming. The Washington Metro has displayed predictions since 2000, and New York began installing countdown signs in 2007, the Boston Globe reported.

If the South Station start-up succeeds, Park Street station will be added later this month, then Downtown Crossing in September. They will be monitored for at least a month while features are added and adjusted, with other stations to follow in batches of three.

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