Countdown Signs Discussion

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Countdown Signs Discussion

Postby stevefol » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:38 pm

I was pleased to notice today that the Red Line dot matrix indicators at South Station now shows the times to arrival, and the destination for the next trains. This was something I first saw on a visit to London in 1975. Those boards have been there for quite a while (and being dot matrix are pretty out of date already), but I only saw it at South Station. At others, they all still seem to say just the time, or a message to tell you a train is approaching. Any idea when it will spread throughout the system?
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.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby The EGE » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:06 pm

By the end of the year.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massac ... _arriving/

The MBTA will activate long-awaited countdown signs on Wednesday telling riders when the next trains will roll into South Station, 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 data is already publicly available, via (I believe) certain smartphone apps, as well as my personal favorite.

The Green Line with its ancient system is not going to get the signs any time soon, despite needing them the most of all. It's been speculated that PTC would reduce throughput of the Central Subway.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby diburning » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:05 am

And for those who don't have a smartphone or don't want to download an app, there's always this site. (Warning, rated R) It shows work trains and deadhead moves as well!
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby The EGE » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:26 am

That's actually the site I linked as well, just with a different url shortener to get around the site's filters.

I hope this is popular enough that we see the T come up with ad hoc solutions to get the Green Line - at least the central subway but preferrably the branches too - hooked up.

I believe there are also signs at South Station and Dudley for the Silver Line.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby wicked » Thu Aug 16, 2012 6:03 am

On that site, I see no rhyme or reason for a particular line being, ahem, screwed over.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby SM89 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:26 am

What's on that site that's so bad? My computer keeps blocking it for "adult materials". Is it not just trains? lol
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby octr202 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:01 am

You can use the more boring: http://howsthet.com/ and get the same info.

Not having an iPhone or Android, I like bookmarking stations I use at: http://www.mbtainfo.com/
Very simple site that cuts right to what you need.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:30 am

I was thrilled to read this article yesterday. I am also glad that they are taking their time to get things right. The article discusses how they are viewing surveillance footage of South Station and then fine-tuning the countdown clocks to ensure they actually match up with when the trains arrive. Hopefully they maintain this attention to detail when the rest of the stations receive the countdowns, which, according to the article, will happen in bunches of three at a time until all are finished by the end of 2012.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby SM89 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:02 am

I noticed yesterday when I went to check it out around lunchtime that screen on the platform did the "next train..." a few seconds (maybe 5) before the screens in between the tracks. I could also not hear the outbound side announcements like i usually can.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby CircusFreakGRITZ » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:19 am

SM89 wrote:I noticed yesterday when I went to check it out around lunchtime that screen on the platform did the "next train..." a few seconds (maybe 5) before the screens in between the tracks. I could also not hear the outbound side announcements like i usually can.

Yeah, are they still going to be playing the next train approaching/arriving announcements? This was unclear to me after I read the article. Does anyone know?
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby The EGE » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:14 am

I would actually hope so. It's a good way to not miss your train by a few seconds.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby sery2831 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:14 pm

SM89 wrote:What's on that site that's so bad? My computer keeps blocking it for "adult materials". Is it not just trains? lol


It is just trains, but uses R rated language.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby SM89 » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:36 pm

CircusFreakGRITZ wrote:
SM89 wrote:I noticed yesterday when I went to check it out around lunchtime that screen on the platform did the "next train..." a few seconds (maybe 5) before the screens in between the tracks. I could also not hear the outbound side announcements like i usually can.

Yeah, are they still going to be playing the next train approaching/arriving announcements? This was unclear to me after I read the article. Does anyone know?


Yes, they still play.
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:49 pm

sery2831 wrote:
SM89 wrote:What's on that site that's so bad? My computer keeps blocking it for "adult materials". Is it not just trains? lol


It is just trains, but uses R rated language.


Actually, looks like they toned it down a lot. Or separated out onto different URL's the PG-rated one from the PG-13. It's fully safe for work now.

I was rolling around on the floor laughing the first time I saw that posted on Universal Hub. The Green Line page especially is/was priceless. ;-)
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Re: MBTA finally enters the 1970's

Postby diburning » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:07 pm

The one for the green line used to say "The Green Line is so (messed up) that the MBTA doesn't release live data about it" Now it says "Of course, because it's the Green Line, there's no live data available."

I did not know that there was a G rated version available. I can feel better about recommending that version of the site to some older folk.
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