New PA/CIS board at the Kingston Avenue subway station. Photo courtesy of MTA NYC Transit via Twitpic.
The technological upgrade of NYC Subway stations continues as MTA NYC Transit has officially expanded its real time subway countdown clocks to four new stations in Brooklyn along the 2 & 3 lines. Here is more information courtesy of a press release sent to me a short time ago by MTA NYC Transit:
MTA New York City Transit officials today announced that real-time train arrival countdown clocks or message screens are now operational and being tested at several stations along the 2 3 lines in Brooklyn. Funded by the 2000 – 2004 MTA Capital Program, the PA/CIS system is now in the process of being activated for customer use at stations along the IRT or numbered lines (123456) system wide. PA/CIS offers subway customers audio and visual train arrival information. The expansion of the screens to Brooklyn follows the successful rollout of similar message boards at eleven stations in the Bronx along the Pelham 6 line.
The Public Address Customer Information Screen (PA/CIS) system is a major component of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s effort to substantially upgrade customer communications across its entire network and marks an important milestone in the effort to provide subway customers with up-to-date travel information employing 21st Century technology.
The PA/CIS screen provides train arrival messages in audio and video. The messages indicate when the next two trains are due to arrive at the station and their destinations. Aside from train arrivals, the system also allows NYC Transit to provide both audio and visual messages to customers, keeping them fully informed about service delays or emergency situations. PA/CIS is being rolled out incrementally with 152 stations on the IRT numbered lines operational by the first quarter of 2011. PA/CIS was first introduced along the Canarsie L line in January 2007.
The information distributed through the PA/CIS system originates from NYC Transit’s Rail Control Center (RCC). From the RCC, Customer Service Agents will be able to provide subway customers with service status and other information either as audio only, visual only, or as synchronized audio and visual information. The system includes signs and speakers which are located on the platforms and in the fare control areas prior to entering the station. PA/CIS will be installed in additional IRT stations in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan throughout the city in the coming months.
As I noted in December, these upgrades are long overdue for arguably the most important subway system in the world. It is inexcusable how lesser systems have done much better in implementing improved technology to make operations easier along with providing better information & service to riders. While the MTA is still behind the curve in terms of technology, it is a promising sign that things are being done to change that.
xoxo Transit Blogger