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Posted on January 29, 2014

BOSTON - MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott announced at the MassDOT board meeting today that countdown clocks, alerting riders to when the next train is to arrive, are now up and running at all 53 Heavy Rail (Red, Orange & Blue lines) stations in the MBTA system. The activation of the countdown clocks at the Blue Line’s Orient Heights station this past week completed the countdown clock system on the Heavy Rail system.

In total, there are now 314 countdown signs bringing information to customers at 53 stations in the MBTA system. This makes the MBTA one of the first transit agencies in the country to have all Heavy Rail stations equipped with train arrival information. Since the introduction of the countdown system in 2012, there have been constant improvements based on customer feedback including better accuracy and increased visibility. In addition, the MBTA introduced “Next Train” signs at Kenmore station this past fall to inform customers as to which Green Line branch (B, C, & D) would be arriving next.

The Green Line, a Light Rail line, is currently equipped with a less-sophisticated tracking system than the Heavy Rail lines. The Green Line is now undergoing the necessary work to upgrade the system with both GPS and sensor technology capable of providing customers with the same countdown capability as the Heavy Rail lines. The MBTA expects that the introduction of the countdown system on the Green Line will begin by the end of 2014.

“We have received overwhelming response from customers that they love the countdown clock system,” said General Manager Scott. “This service answers one of the key questions in commuting - ‘Where is the train?’ - and I’m thrilled we continue to focus on innovative ways to improve our customers’ experience.”

Since the introduction of the countdown system in 2012, the MBTA has been working on software enhancements to improve the quality of countdown information, currently focusing on providing real-time information during diversions and delays. These improvements and coming additions to the countdown system will also be available on the MBTA’s real-time data feed for app developers. In addition, customers will also start to see the introduction of countdown information on the bus system in the coming months, beginning with Forest Hills station’s activation in the next few weeks.

MassDOT Contact:
Kelly Smith, 857-368-8984

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