Next Subway Arrival Board: 3 Years Away

One of the biggest technological advances in mass transit for riders was the implementation of arrival boards which tell you when the next train in each respective direction will arrive. The technology has been in place all over the world in places such as London, Rome, & in our own country in Washington D.C. Unfortunately for tri-state area residents, the most important system in the world continues to labor on without them. As usual the MTA is behind the rest of the world in terms of implementing transit technology or strategies even though are system is by far the most important & complex.

The agency did implement the technology on a smaller scale when they initiated a pilot program on the L Train. They had planned to implement it system-wide by 2006 but we all know that did not happen. We then were led to believe that the boards would be up & running by 2009. Now we learn that the date has been pushed back to sometime in 2011, a full 5 years later than originally anticipated. New York Daily News transit reporter Pete Donohue broke the news in this report:

Attention, straphangers: A project to display real-time train arrival times in 152 subway stations is now behind schedule – by five years.

The project, featuring electronic message boards posted above subway platforms, was originally expected to be completed in 2006.

NYC Transit has pushed back that date several times over the years, citing software development problems, technical glitches and other problems. Earlier this week, officials pushed the date back again, this time to 2011.

The delays in the $185 million project have frustrated riders and advocates who have seen such information provided in other cities around the world but not here.

“What a drag!” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. “Riders really want to know when trains are due to arrive and when they are delayed.”

The transit agency in 2002 awarded the Public Address/Customer Information Screen contract to Siemens Transit Technologies, a joint venture between Siemens Transportation Systems and Transit Technologies.

The stations being rigged up are along the Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 lines.

A smaller test program on the L line came on board last year. The balance of the system is slated to be equipped in a subsequent phase of the Siemens contract. A Siemens spokeswoman said she couldn’t immediately comment on the project Tuesday.

Click here for the complete report.

This is totally unacceptable & downright ridiculous. How could the most important & complex system in the world not have this technology implemented while others do? The tri-state area’s transit agencies should be leading the charge & be the model for others around the world. Instead through years of neglect, bad decisions, & no desire from the masses, our infrastructure is behind & has to be a follower instead of an innovator. Mark my words that by time this technology is up & running system-wide, other agencies will have implemented an even better method that will make these boards outdated. Pathetic………..

xoxo Transit Blogger

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Stop trying to re-invent the wheel, and buy a system from one of the vendors selling an already working system to another large subway operator, like London, Rome, Washington, DC, Etc.

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