Countdown Signs Discussion

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:23 pm

That website is funny, but my personal favorite is MBTAinfo.com . As someone else already posted, it's really simple, it loads fast on your smartphone and it's NOT nsfw! :)
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby saulblum » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:37 pm

The need for tracking on the Green Line is most acute aboveground, especially in inclement weather. And aboveground is exactly where GPS transponders would work. Why can't the Green Line cars use the same kind of tracking as the buses use? San Francisco's MUNI streetcars use NextBus, and they have a tunnel portion too. I don't know how the tracking works underground.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby jamesinclair » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:02 pm

stevefol wrote:I guess it will be the second half of the century before we see similar indicators at bus stops, as seen at most developed cities outside the US since about the turn of this century. And when they do install, I guess they'll be more dot matrix panels, instead of the more usual flat screen display.


To be fair, the silver line on washington street has had working countdown timers since 2008 or 2009

And yes, theyre the dot kind.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby Matthew » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:01 pm

This describes and provides links to the raw source of the data: http://www.mbta.com/rider_tools/develop ... p?id=21898

For those interested. You can look at the text/csv format, it's pretty easy to figure out.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby SM89 » Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:14 am

Terminal stations are probably going to be a bit harder to get right. Take Oak Grove for example. The system only announces when the next train will arrive, who knows when it will turn around and leave. The signs at the station therefore need to somehow differentiate between when a train will arrive and when it will leave, otherwise it will be pretty much useless.

I know exactly what they're gonna try to do. The signs will say "Oak Grove 4 min" for example. Unless I'm sitting in my car waiting for someone to get off the train, what good is it to me? It needs to say "Oak Grove 4 min" and then on the next line "Forest Hills 6 min". Idk how they're going to manage to get it right though. It would have to be some combination of tracking and scheduled departures.It would also be nice for it to list which track the train will be arriving and leaving on.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby Robert Paniagua » Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:52 pm

I use this website, whereisthet.com to know when the next train will arrive at the station I'm waiting
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby The EGE » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:14 pm

Remember how it was going to be all the Red, Blue, and Orange Line stations by the end of the year? Ha. Ha. Ha. They just installed the 4th one at Broadway, and the timeline is now next year.

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/sou ... _line.html
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby ns3010 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:12 am

Countdown clocks have come to the Orange Line. There is an article with a photo on Universal Hub of the signs at Mass Ave: http://www.universalhub.com/2012/progress-comes-even-orange-line

And another photo: http://twitpic.com/bjpoq7

North Station is said to have them as well.

Tonight even before I discovered these photos I was walking through Ruggles and heard an announcement "The next Orange Line to (didn't catch the destination) arriving in five minutes" in a new and different voice than normal. I found it interesting as I have never heard it before, and the countdown clocks immediately came to mind. I wasn't able to see any of the signs, but I will check in the morning.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby BostonUrbEx » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:08 am

North Station does not have them: North Station is ready for them, as well as State St. (The current time is displayed in the upper right to make room for the countdowns)
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby Robert Paniagua » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:48 am

State Street platform on the Blue line also has the countdown clocks set up, too. For now though, it just shows to time only.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby SM89 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:57 am

I knew something must have been going on. Since yesterday all of the stations from Roxbury Crossing to Downtown (my commute) had just the time in the corner. I've yet to see any countdowns on them though, even this morning, but the pictures linked above give me hope of some massive roll out that seems to be coming.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby ns3010 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:00 am

Ok, my mistake. I saw a tweet about it, but neglected to check the context of it.

As of 10 this morning the signs at Ruggles were set up with the time in the upper right, but the countdowns were not live yet. There was a hi-rail pickup parked along the station on the Forsyth St. side, which may be related to the signs. I'll check again later today to see if they are cut in.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby jamesinclair » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:26 pm

Extremely glad to see this finally happening.

Next step is to add signs to stations outside the turnstiles, so riders can make better decisions about their trip.

IE: At Harvard, one at the top of the stairs, by the street, to give you time to either run in, or head to starbucks.

In fact, local business could benefit so much they might be willing to chip in.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby ns3010 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:48 pm

As previously mentioned, everything Ruggles-State was set up this morning. However, no countdowns were displayed anywhere. Mass Ave had the countdowns removed; only the time was showed in the corner.

On another note, I noticed that Robo-Lady was announcing the bustiution between JS and FH, at least at State. I also noticed that the normal approaching/arriving announcements at State were deeper than normal. It wasn't Robo-Man, but they was noticeably deeper than normal.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby ns3010 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:35 pm

In addition to the stations noted above, Community College and Sullivan have also been set up for the countdowns. Wellington, Malden, and Oak Grove still have the "old" date, time, and T logo.

Interestingly, the signs on the Green Line platforms at North Station and Haymarket have the setup for the countdowns, even though they don't display the OL approaching/arriving announcements. I'm not sure why this is, since the GL signs at Park Street still have the old date/time/logo displays despite the Red Line countdown clocks.
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