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B Division PA/CIS Discussion

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http://secondavenuesagas.com/

 

Photo: A B Division countdown clock, in trial

 

By Benjamin Kabak

 

889b0b2ebf0a11e18bb812313804a181_7.jpg

 

 

An Instagrammer spotted some new countdown clocks at 23rd Street on the BMT Broadway line (Photo via

 

 

@krislopresto

 

 

)

 

 

 

 

 

An eagle-eyed straphanger spotted these countdown clocks on the B Division yesterday. Although he said an R came first, the point remains that some technology that had been in the discussion stages seems to be moving closer toward a reality. While A Division stations currently enjoy countdown clocks everywhere, bringing a similar PA/CIS system to the B Division would be costly and time-consuming. So what’s going on here?

I reached out to Transit to track down more information and learned that this clock is part of a test that hasn’t quite yet begun. The plan is to test the clocks at 14th St., 23rd St. and 28th Sts. along the BMT Broadway Line, and the underlying technology uses Optical Character Recognition and some scheduling information. Right now, Transit says they are still working with vendors to configure the software, and the customer information screens may display some messages while the tests move forward.

As I understand, OCR can be used to identify train sets based on scans of the car numbers as they move through the system. Such a technology can offer similar results to the A Division’s clocks, but the underlying technology is entirely different. I’ll try to have more on OCR soon, but it seems as though the plans to bring some type of countdown clock to the B Division are beginning to move forward.

 

 

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Will be very happy when the (G) gets these. It seems to stay on-schedule despite its infrequency; I just want to know when the next one will come when I use that line.

 

Well I will be happy when the other BMT/IND lines get them too, but I place an emphasis on the (G).

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Guest MTA Bus

It's about time the MTA did this. Can't wait to see these on the 6th Av Line.

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These are about as accurate as those damn "there is a Manhattan bound local train 1 station away" announcements that play at complete random times, and then there's no train for another 15 minutes because it was probably heading down a different route at 36 St, if it even existed at all. Until they actually get a computerized dispatching system installed in the rest of B-Div, the best they're going to be able to do are make guesses, but since the towers can't all see each other, there's no way for City Hall tower to know what Dekalb is sending them until it enters their territory.

 

Will be very happy when the (G) gets these. It seems to stay on-schedule despite its infrequency; I just want to know when the next one will come when I use that line.

 

Well I will be happy when the other BMT/IND lines get them too, but I place an emphasis on the (G).

 

 

LOL most of the G's stations don't even have CIS yet!!! You're gonna be sad for a LONG, LONG time.

Edited by Snowblock

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I still don't feel the need for the (MTA) to try to emulate other "world-class" transit agencies. What happened to looking down the tracks every once in a while? Don't trains run often enough here that they're pretty much moot?

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This explains why there are these slim black cameras around the 5th car hanging from the ceiling at 23, 28, 34 streets.

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Also you would think they could have used the money to increase service instead or whatever.

 

However I do find the clocks useful in several situations. Waiting for a train that does not run very frequently, figuring out which platform to go to at Flatbush/Nostrand Aves and how soon you need to get over to that platform, and figuring out whether to wait at Grand Central for a (5) to Flatbush Ave (Lex-Nostrand service does not run like water like Lex-EP service does) or just take the (4) to the (2) if the (4) arrives first (or if (4) trains are coming in bunches, which is not uncommon) all come to mind. Besides which, would they really be making a significantly greater effort to increase service than they are currently making if they had never decided to install the clocks in the first place? Would they be much less likely to cut service if they had never decided on the clocks?

 

If the answers are no, then I would say the clocks are well worth it. Even if they are a little off at times they at least give you an idea of what is going on. They make the system more convenient to use IMO. *The ones used on the IRT that tell you the estimated arrival times, NOT the ones on the IND that just tell you the location of the train.* They eliminate many of the hassles encountered in many "complicated" or "sticky" situations where you are not sure whether to just walk several blocks to where you want to go or walk/jog to an express station or take a parallel bus line there rather than wait God knows how long for the local train to go to that express station. On weekends the CPW line with the infrequent (C) and QBL line with the infrequent (R) come to mind.

 

The (G) is infrequent, but with the (G) it is not like you need to take it to a parallel express train; no train parallels the (G) east of Downtown BK. So it is usually either that or the B62, but the (G) runs decently most of the time so I have never felt the inclination to take the B62 rather than the (G). But still clocks would be helpful so I could figure out whether to go into the station pronto or get something in one of the stores outside if I have time before heading downstairs. Again this is more for time-sensitive situations.

 

Snowblock, I will not really be sad. It is not the end of the world. Though I do sorta think the (G) deserved them before the (L).

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There's a light at the end of the tunnel for lettered-line subway riders who don’t know when their train is coming.

 

The MTA is drafting a plan to put countdown clocks in letter line stations where riders can currently only guess how long they’ll have to wait for a ride.

 

For more than two years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been testing different technological options that would be less costly than the countdown systems it installed on the numbered lines.

 

“Countdown clocks have been a major success on the [numbered lines],” a transit source said. “Everybody likes them. Something needs to happen on the [lettered lines].”

 

NYC Transit division staff are preparing a report detailing how the agency intends to give train arrival information to riders and improved train tracking capabilities to the rail control center “in some level, shape or form” for lettered lines, NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast said.

 

A complete rollout would take years, Prendergast said, but MTA brass want progress “sooner rather than later,” the source said.

 

The MTA spent hundreds of millions of dollars to overhaul the signals and install countdown clocks over the last several years at 150 numbered lines stations. Countdown clocks first appeared on the L line in 2007 as part of a separate project.

 

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mta-plans-put-countdown-clocks-letter-line-subway-stations-article-1.1102837#ixzz1yypebrpQ

 

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Why are investing in different technological options to do this? Wont it be cheaper, easier and overall better to just to stick one technonlgoy for the whole system and just improve it over time. Guess thats why the how tranist system dont work that well, different technoogys mixed in that can cause confusion for the mta

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Why are investing in different technological options to do this? Wont it be cheaper, easier and overall better to just to stick one technonlgoy for the whole system and just improve it over time. Guess thats why the how tranist system dont work that well, different technoogys mixed in that can cause confusion for the mta

 

The thing is, the lettered lines (B division) can't use the same technology as the numbered lines (A division). The A division has ATS (Automatic Train Supervision), which is basically a computer-operated dispatching system. It would cost a lot of money to put ATS on the B division.

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I think the Second Avenue Sagas thread for this and this thread should be merged and made official. The B Division Countdown Clocks thread.

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When they get countdown clocks installed at every Crosstown station, I'll know it's time to take my pension and run.

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If you're at Grand Central and are going to FLA, ALWAYS take the 4 if it comes first. The only possible way the 5 behind it could ever get around that 4 is if the 4 gets sent local at Nevins, and if that happens, chances are you're gonna encounter delays no matter what train you're on....

 

and it's not about who DESERVES it, it's about what would be most efficient. The L was chosen for the CBTC experiment because it's the only line in the system that does not overlap with other lines. If they put it on Crosstown, then they would have to put it on the Culver, 6 Av, Queens Blvd, etc.....which meant that Concourse, West End, etc would need it too, and then 8 Av just incase an A train got rerouted to Church Ave.

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I think the Second Avenue Sagas thread for this and this thread should be merged and made official. The B Division Countdown Clocks thread.

 

 

Didn't see that thread. I think the entire thread should all be made one, both IRT and IND/BMT divisions.

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Wait...Isn't this just a test? After what i'm hearing the MTA MAY or MAY NOT go with this. It looks pretty nice to tell when exactly the train is coming and what train it actually is. But I actually would prefer the ones that say "Ladies and Gentelmen...The Next Uptown Express train is now arriving" and "There is a Queens Bound Local train one station away" Like the ones all along the CPW and Atlantic etc.

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It was not so much about Lex trains being sent local in Brooklyn. If you think it is unlikely that the (2) will be right there at Franklin if you take the (4), then it makes sense to wait for the (5) instead since no time is saved. Or if the (4) is more crowded and there are no seats on that train (and there might be no seats on the (2) at Franklin, even away from the middle of the trains). Once I was at GCT at about 5pm and a New Lots (4) came through. I waited for the Flatbush (5) which came a couple of minutes later and got a seat on that train.

 

Depending on who you ask it was not the best gamble since the (2) was just leaving Franklin when my (5) got there and we had some waiting to do, but the ride was more comfortable.

 

If there were no countdown clocks, I probably would have taken the (4) to the (2) and if I could fit on the (2) I would have gotten to FB earlier, but the ride would have been less comfortable.

 

I mention the "if I could fit on the (2)" because not too long ago it took 10 minutes for any train to show up at Brooklyn Museum, the (3) came first and was very crowded, I took it to Franklin, then a (2) came at the same time as a New Lots (4) (most likely the same intervals as those of the trains described in first situation), both trains were also very crowded and I could not fit on the (2), and then a (5) came and I was able to take that one without a problem.

 

Although when I noticed that the clock at Brooklyn Museum said the next eastbound train was due in 10 minutes I really should have walked to Franklin and perhaps I could have gotten on the (5) faster. Oh well. I was not in a rush then and was not really thinking about that. Now that I think about it I could have saved myself some trouble. Although the (5) only took about 4 minutes to show up after I reached Franklin.

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When they get countdown clocks installed at every Crosstown station, I'll know it's time to take my pension and run.

 

 

Why?

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Anyone know if there's a way to disable those colored bullets? Trying to read that post gave me a migraine.

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There is. I could have checked the "disable emoticons/smilies" box. I will use the colored bullets less from now on.

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Guest Lance

Topics from Second Avenue Sagas and the Daily News have been merged.

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These are about as accurate as those damn "there is a Manhattan bound local train 1 station away" announcements that play at complete random times, and then there's no train for another 15 minutes because it was probably heading down a different route at 36 St, if it even existed at all. Until they actually get a computerized dispatching system installed in the rest of B-Div, the best they're going to be able to do are make guesses, but since the towers can't all see each other, there's no way for City Hall tower to know what Dekalb is sending them until it enters their territory.

 

 

 

LOL most of the G's stations don't even have CIS yet!!! You're gonna be sad for a LONG, LONG time.

 

Metropolitan Av has it it displays After a earlier incident g train have resume regular service Edited by Mtatransit

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observation no clock on broadway was using the test pa system so i deemed it to be a fail yesterday.

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