NYC Subway Getting Tricked Out With Realtime LCDs

04Nov09

NYCsubwaylcd

This is quite possibly one of the coolest ideas the MTA has had in the last decade. According to the Gothamist, the MTA rolled out an LCD at the Bedford Avenue station on the L train line in NYC. Ordinary displays they are not? Displaying relevant information, it might.

The screens cull data from the L line’s computerized operating system, which tracks exact train locations and then shows them advancing (or not!) along the screen.

That is pretty cool. This could stop a lot of idiots (myself included) from constantly having to lean over the platform edge just to see if a train is coming or not. On the other hand, NYC’s already bitchy and cranky ass commuters could also have a whole lot more to bitch about. For example, now that they know the position of the train; if it’s not moving, they will whine about that instead of just not knowing where the train is if it is in between two stations with a reasonable amount of distance.

A year ago, the MTA started to roll more and more lightboards onto station platforms (L and 6 train line) that displayed simple information such as the time and date and whether a train was arriving or not. Most of them are hung from the danky ceilings of platforms and go unnoticed, but I really think the LCDs could take off, given that they are placed in accessible spots and not outside of the turnstiles in a token booth, where riders on the platform can’t see it. Hopefully the LCDs won’t be scratched left and right by jerks who have no respect for the subways.

Nevertheless, I am expecting great things from new MTA Chairman Jay Walder. His goal is to bring the MTA into the 21st century through technology and overhaul the aging system. I welcome this guy 1000%. He is doing things and will make this beautiful maze of a transit system into something that will meet the expectations of the world. Down with MetroCards and bring on the RFID tapping cards.

Gothamist

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