Countdown Signs Discussion

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

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jwhite07
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by jwhite07 »

I was at Broadway today and at the fare gates, the sign there lists trains going in both directions.
Makes sense to have the signs at station mezzanines and on center island platforms list trains in both directions, and for side platforms only one direction. If that's not the case, hopefully it's a matter of a simple software change.

wicked
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by wicked »

You'd think that about center platforms but on its center platforms (admittedly larger), WMATA's Metro puts separate signs next to each platform yellow line. WMATA often has multiple lines running on each track, so it's more necessary there.

WatertownCarBarn
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by WatertownCarBarn »

For some reason I get a laugh out of seeing when the signs say 20+ minutes!

diburning
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by diburning »

I'm not sure how these signs calculate the time of arrival, but today, I was at Central, and the sign for the Ashmont train said 8 mins, then dropped to 6 mins, and then dropped to 2 mins all within a minute! It didn't stay at 2 mins for long because the train arrived and it changed to ARR.

boblothrope
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by boblothrope »

jamesinclair wrote:
The EGE wrote:I'm really curious if they'll have the display set to rotate through several views at the Green Line stations. At Copley to Government Center, you need a minimum of four slots for the 4 different destinations, and 3 lots at Hynes and Kenmore. The signs seem only able to display 2 slots at once.
Rotation should be trivial.
What happens on Red Line signs that show both directions? For example, do they show just the next Alewife and Ashmont trains (if that's what's next), and Braintree passengers are out of luck? Or does one line rotate between Ashmont and Braintree?

In NYC, they make it clear when they're doing this. The next train is always shown, and begins with "1. " The second line rotates, and begins with "2. " or "3. " so you always know if you're seeing the second or third train.

Anyone know what's holding up countdown implementation at the remaining non-Green stations, especially non-terminals where predictions are easy? Davis currently has no train approaching/arriving announcements, which it used to have.

CircusFreakGRITZ
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by CircusFreakGRITZ »

boblothrope wrote:
jamesinclair wrote:
The EGE wrote:I'm really curious if they'll have the display set to rotate through several views at the Green Line stations. At Copley to Government Center, you need a minimum of four slots for the 4 different destinations, and 3 lots at Hynes and Kenmore. The signs seem only able to display 2 slots at once.
Rotation should be trivial.
What happens on Red Line signs that show both directions? For example, do they show just the next Alewife and Ashmont trains (if that's what's next), and Braintree passengers are out of luck? Or does one line rotate between Ashmont and Braintree?

In NYC, they make it clear when they're doing this. The next train is always shown, and begins with "1. " The second line rotates, and begins with "2. " or "3. " so you always know if you're seeing the second or third train.

Anyone know what's holding up countdown implementation at the remaining non-Green stations, especially non-terminals where predictions are easy? Davis currently has no train approaching/arriving announcements, which it used to have.
Unfortunately on the mezzanine/lobby level, the signs only show Alewife and whichever train is coming next. They should really fix this.

boblothrope
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by boblothrope »

boblothrope wrote:Anyone know what's holding up countdown implementation at the remaining non-Green stations, especially non-terminals where predictions are easy? Davis currently has no train approaching/arriving announcements, which it used to have.
Starting yesterday, all non-Green Line stations now have countdowns.

This includes terminals, where the signs and 5-minute announcements say when a train is departing. (But that didn't stop them from ringing the starting bell for my train while the display still said 2 minutes.)

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BostonUrbEx
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by BostonUrbEx »

boblothrope wrote:
boblothrope wrote:Anyone know what's holding up countdown implementation at the remaining non-Green stations, especially non-terminals where predictions are easy? Davis currently has no train approaching/arriving announcements, which it used to have.
Starting yesterday, all non-Green Line stations now have countdowns.

This includes terminals, where the signs and 5-minute announcements say when a train is departing. (But that didn't stop them from ringing the starting bell for my train while the display still said 2 minutes.)
Charles/MGH and Orient Heights still don't have countdowns. But Charles/MGH will this fall or so, and Orient Heights is under construction.

boblothrope
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by boblothrope »

BostonUrbEx wrote:Charles/MGH and Orient Heights still don't have countdowns. But Charles/MGH will this fall or so, and Orient Heights is under construction.
Thanks.

What's the reason for the delay? Does Charles/MGH lack the hardware? Or is there something complicated about the train-tracking system that close to Park Street?

The EGE
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by The EGE »

Charles/MGH, for whatever reason, has older lower-resolution displays on the platforms. They seem to have room for at most one line of text. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture.

SM89
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by SM89 »

I'm not sure if it's just because of the construction, but at Oak Grove, the signs say something over 15 minutes and then all of the sudden switch to 5ish minutes when a train arrives. Also, I never noticed the light bulb next to the countdown sign on the Banks Place side bus platform. It lights up when a train is in the station and turns off when it leaves. It's got one of the $30+ LED bulbs too haha.

sery2831
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by sery2831 »

I rode from DTX to North Station and Sunday and noticed the countdown signs were only displaying the time until the train got 6 minutes away. At that point it counted down the train. Is this new programming?
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boblothrope
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by boblothrope »

SM89 wrote:Also, I never noticed the light bulb next to the countdown sign on the Banks Place side bus platform. It lights up when a train is in the station and turns off when it leaves.
Many station busways have had train-arriving lights for a long time before there were countdown signs.

Now they just need to create a policy to help passengers on late trains catch their bus. Something like, if no train has arrived in the 10 minutes before a bus departs, the bus driver should wait for the train or call an inspector for instructions. And if the light is on at the scheduled departure time, the bus should wait until it goes off.

boblothrope
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by boblothrope »

This weekend and last, the countdown signs on the Red Line haven't been working.

Is it due to the construction/bus diversion near JFK? It would be unfortunate if the countdown system couldn't handle that situation. The whole point of real-time info is to handle unusual situations. If everything always ran as expected, they could save the money and just post a paper schedule.

wicked
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Re: Countdown Signs Discussion

Post by wicked »

The same thing happens when WMATA single-tracks, but they've found a way to make it work when doing a shuttle operation.

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