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Latest beacon technology is part of MTA Subway action plan to improve customer communication
Countdown clocks at all stations on the e and g lines are now live, thanks to MTA New York City Transit’s use of beacon technology as a new, innovative way to bring real time train arrival information to customers at stations that still lack countdown clocks.  Countdown clocks will be installed at all lettered line stations by the end of 2017.

This accelerated effort to bring real time train arrival information to the rest of the system is part the MTA’s Subway Action Plan to stabilize and improve the system and lay the foundation for modernizing the New York City Subway. A key component of the Action Plan calls for improved customer communications and providing train arrival information system-wide allows customers to be kept fully informed of regular service, delays or emergency situations, should they arise.

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said, “The days when customers on our lettered lines are forced to peer down a subway platform looking for headlights will soon be over.  Bringing real-time train arrival information to all stations is part of our aggressive and immediate efforts to improve the customer experience through increased reliability and capacity, enhanced stations and safety, and clear and accurate communication.”

MTA Managing Director Veronique Hakim said, “Beacon technology does not involve invasive modifications to station infrastructure and can be deployed at a fraction of the costs associated with the countdown clocks already in the system.  More importantly, it’s part of an Action Plan that puts our customers first.”

The beacon technology has already been deployed on the c and r lines and involves placing four low-energy Bluetooth beacons on each train set and two receivers on each platform. LCD display screens at each station provide customers with real time train arrival information.

The addition of countdown clocks to the e and g lines brings the total number of stations with countdown clocks to 296.  This includes 156 stations on the numbered lines and 24 l stations with countdown clocks, connected to the line’s Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system.  The 7 line will also get countdown clocks after the installation of CBTC is completed later this year.

MTA New York City Transit is a ICX Association member
Photo Credit: iStock
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