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Javier

New BMT Countdown Clocks begin!

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http://www.mta.info/news-countdown-clocks-new-york-city-transit-subways-buses/2016/08/04/mta-awards-contract-new-pilot

 

 

Testing on countdown clocks for lettered-subway lines has begun, as well as digital screens for MTA buses. Governor Cuomo made the announcement on Thursday regarding the 90-day test of countdown clocks in eight subway stations along the N, Q and R lines, with the aim of installing the clocks in all 269 lettered-line stations. In addition, the MTA today awarded three contracts to perform a pilot program on 131 buses for the installation of digital information screens – to ultimately be installed on a total of 3,600 buses. These vital investments advance Governor Cuomo’s plan to transform the MTA into an innovative, state-of-the-art system with improved customer service and first-class amenities, and are part of the $27 billion, five-year MTA Capital Program.

“These actions are the latest steps toward rebuilding and transforming the MTA into a unified, state-of-the-art transportation network that will meet the needs of current and future generations of New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this new and updated technology, we’ll help ensure riders have the information they need to get where they need to go.”

Testing for Countdown Clocks:

Testing will be performed at the 23rd Street; 28th Street; 34th Street; 42nd Street; 49th Street; 57th Street; 5th Avenue/59th Street; and Lexington Avenue/59th subway stops, and will include two countdown clocks with enhanced LCD screens. The LCD screens, which look much like computer screens, have the added capability of exhibiting public service announcements and other content – a step forward from the LED digital display screens currently in use. Countdown clocks currently serve 176 stations, including the L line’s 24 stations, and will ultimately be installed throughout all 269 lettered-line stations.

  • New Technology For Countdown Clocks: The new clocks rely on technology that is straightforward, cost effective to deploy, and does not require large infrastructure. The system uses the existing wireless network in the stations and cloud computing, and involves four Bluetooth receivers placed in each station, two at each end of the platform. These receivers communicate with four Bluetooth devices that have been installed in the first and last cars of each train set running on the line. As the train enters and leaves a station, the system uses its arrival and departure time to estimate the time at which the train will reach the next stop in the line, and display the arrival times on the two LCD display screens that have been installed at each station.
  • Proof of Concept Phase For Countdown Clocks: During the 90-day test of the clocks, the MTA will work to identify and correct any issues with the new system. The goal is to evaluate the accuracy of location data, performance of Transit Wireless infrastructure, performance of the LCD displays, physical and network security of Bluetooth devices, security of data being transmitted, and internal access and use of data being generated.

MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said, “Governor Cuomo challenged the MTA to develop an aggressive approach to putting countdown clocks on the lettered lines, and our technology team’s response has been phenomenal. In very short order they developed an easy to deploy, cost-effective system that we think will play a central role in bringing this essential service to more and more of our customers. We look forward to learning from this test, as well as to developing a roll out plan based on our findings.”

 

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A quick fix until ISIM-B gets here. And exactly like the rendering. Subarashii.

 

Sent from my N9132 using Tapatalk

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TBH this isin't really big news to me If you have the train time app it can easily tell you when the next train is going to show up. It is going to be nice to see that the (MTA) is stepping up thier game using thier money for something that can make the subway system evolve I'm a positive way.

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34 Street–Herald Square too? Now I don’t have to guess if I should get on the local or wait for an express (when the (N) is local). This would be even more helpful at Canal Street where I can choose between the (6), (N), (Q), (R), and (W) to get to/from 14 Street–Union Square.

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TBH this isin't really big news to me If you have the train time app it can easily tell you when the next train is going to show up. It is going to be nice to see that the (MTA) is stepping up thier game using thier money for something that can make the subway system evolve I'm a positive way.

 

Well - No. The Train-Time app currently works on the IRT lines - that's the numbered lines for the uninitiated. 

 

The big news here IS NOT the physical clocks themselves - it marks the first time that tracking technology to feed clocks (physical or app-based) has been placed on a Lettered line (The (L) canarsie line nonwithstanding) 

 

The IRT is fed by the ATS system, The Canarsie line is fed by the ATO/CBTC system - but this uses an inexpensive solution to allow tracking fo the trains without a full retrofit of the signalling system. 

 

Anyone saw this yet? Is it realiable?

Roommate saw it yesterday. Said it did not correctly identify two Q trains coming in a row. But, assuredly with a little testing and troubleshooting - they can work the kinks out.

 

(Edit: To clarify, the display showed a Q approaching followed by an R, but two Q trains came before the R train. )

Edited by itmaybeokay

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I'm interested to see if the On the Go kiosks are also using this information now and I'm interested to see how the system deals with short turns and GOs, when it comes to correctly listing destinations ( for example, are the (N) trains to 57 St in the rush and the (R) trains to Whitehall in the late evening properly identified?)

 

 

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I checked this out yesterday. It looks good and works well. The estimates seemed very accurate as I watched a few trains go by and noted the times. 


Does anyone know more detail about the technology they're using? I read that they have Bluetooth transmitters on trains and receivers on platforms that relay position data to the system via Wi-Fi. 

 

Is the equipment something you can see from the platforms? I didn't notice any new-looking equipment at the equipped stations (besides the electronic signs, obviously.) Nor could I see anything obviously new on the trains. 

 

Are they using any kind of off-the-shelf technology, or something home-grown using Raspberry Pi boards, etc.? 

Edited by rbrome

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I checked this out yesterday. It looks good and works well. The estimates seemed very accurate as I watched a few trains go by and noted the times. 

Does anyone know more detail about the technology they're using? I read that they have Bluetooth transmitters on trains and receivers on platforms that relay position data to the system via Wi-Fi. 

 

Is the equipment something you can see from the platforms? I didn't notice any new-looking equipment at the equipped stations (besides the electronic signs, obviously.) Nor could I see anything obviously new on the trains. 

 

Are they using any kind of off-the-shelf technology, or something home-grown using Raspberry Pi boards, etc.

What I do know is the kiosk's already had mesh networking and iBeacon capabilities built in. could the clocks be sync with those systems with the kiosk's.?  If they are doing any tracking from the train to stations that the only standard that I know of that BLE and WiFi play nicely in is Mesh Networking.   Think Airplay, Chormecast or fire chat from a software perspective.  

 

Questions Id ask.

How accurate are the clocks?

Do they jump when a train approaching the station ? (Ie 5mins down to 1 or train due?)

Do all the stations that offer the clocks have WiFi enabled at that location?

Do all the stations that offer clocks have Kiosks?

 

Yep raspberry pi could more than likely emulated this with proximity beacons.

Edited by RailRunRob

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I highly doubt its raspberry pi, since you would need something rugged enough and durable enough to withstand the hellish conditions for electrical equipment that exist on the subway.

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I highly doubt its raspberry pi, since you would need something rugged enough and durable enough to withstand the hellish conditions for electrical equipment that exist on the subway.

Sure the packaging is custom and rugged. But there's nothing special about the hardware inside you could create something similar with a Pi if you wanted to. 

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...

Questions Id ask.

How accurate are the clocks?

...

 

 

I timed them for a while at 5 Av / 59 St this week, and they seemed very accurate to me. If it said 9 minutes, it might arrive in 7 or 8, but on average, more accurate than the IRT's signal-based clocks. 

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I timed them for a while at 5 Av / 59 St this week, and they seemed very accurate to me. If it said 9 minutes, it might arrive in 7 or 8, but on average, more accurate than the IRT's signal-based clocks. 

I'm late to the party I just looked the MTA post on their site . It seems like a simple system. I've helped to design App's that have deployed BLE technology. A lot different from your grandfather's classic Bluetooth standard. This seems like it works in a similar way. All the stations equipped with the clocks already have WiFi.

 

The BLE device on train > Gives current location > Location via Wifi to Cloud-based DataBase. 

The database in real-time receives trains coordinates all along the line and calculates the approximate time between stations. (Train on 23rd street updates clocks on 28th via cloud) with a 1 to 2 min margin of error still very good. It's funny it really creates an Adhoc network kinda like what you have on A division without ATS and AVL for a fraction of the cost. And with CloudComputing you really don't need the servers or the physical space taken.

 

Here're the Variables I don't know. When I've set up iBeacons for events and stores. The BLE device is only one-way communication. The phone comes in range of beacon send's a message or URL for the cloud. The beacon is just that a beacon it doesn't store any information nor does it communicate with other beacons without some type of Management software.  Think kinda NFC with 3 zones of interaction and feet instead of inches.

 

Not sure if this is what the MTA is using. 

Here how's I could set this up using our system.

Trains have beacons. > Each station has a Computer with BT 4.0 (RSSI) or better to detect trains entering and leaving > Computer talks to the Cloud and other computers along the line.

We pitched the MTA a few years back on a system for trains. we got the yeah yeah. Look now.

Would love to get an MTA check. :D

Edited by RailRunRob

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Part of the spec system we proposed to the MTA back in 2013. Don't want to flood the topic with photo's ill post more or a link if you guys are interested.

 

 

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Just out of curiosity, did you think about how to transmit information from cars without any sort of electronic data?

 

For example, when the sign test was announced on Twitter, there was a pretty large discussion about implementing this across the b division. The MTA just happened to pick a line where all train types had some sort of electronic display with the line letter and destination. There was a consensus among the group that implementing this on the (C) and (J) would be an issue because the R32s do not have any electronics in them.

 

 

Sent from my iPod touch using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

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Just out of curiosity, did you think about how to transmit information from cars without any sort of electronic data?

 

For example, when the sign test was announced on Twitter, there was a pretty large discussion about implementing this across the b division. The MTA just happened to pick a line where all train types had some sort of electronic display with the line letter and destination. There was a consensus among the group that implementing this on the (C) and (J) would be an issue because the R32s do not have any electronics in them.

 

 

Sent from my iPod touch using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

Good question. At the time (2013) no that was a big issue the system did rely on onboard and doppler so if the CPU on the train was off and not working that would pose an issue. But now with advancements, price, and availability of tech it might be possible now. We see that now with the R68's so it could work for R32's in theory. Even if you can't get PA and detailed route information you could get a roundabout and location even from information from stations and the system they have now on the Broadway line.

other pages I didn't include that address this a bit.

 

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How are the R68 cars going to get location information? Has to be some onboard CPU and some type of doppler system as well which shouldn't be that costly being only trucks on cab cars need to have it installed plus the programs already exist from NTT cars as far as distance. Same could be done with the R32's. Or a maybe a wireless ID tag that can be changed by the driver depending on route (Luminator right?) and picked up at stations like the system on Broadway. 

Edited by RailRunRob

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Took them long enough to get this idea going. Seems like the technology has been around to do this without the whole ATS upgrade for a few years now.

Edited by QM1to6Ave

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https://www.intersection.com/

 

Used to be Control group that created the MTA on the GO Kiosk's I few folks that I worked with at Apple went over there and worked on that project a talented bunch. I think they may be behind some of the tech were seeing with the wireless and the station clocks and wifi NYC project. They got acquired by intersection which I think is owned by Alphabet so there's money behind them. 

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Anyone saw this yet? Is it realiable?

 

They have been at Coney Island Station for quite a while now and they always seem to be working great to me.

 

All 472 stations should have some form of next train info by 2018. (469 stations are currently operable)

Edited by East New York
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They have been at Coney Island Station for quite a while now and they always seem to be working great to me.

They are not always reliable. Sometimes the clocks downstairs will say a train might be leaving at 7:32, but the clocks on the platform might be blank (no time estimate), and the train actually leaves at 7:28. They are notoriously unreliable when it comes to the (N)’s departure time.

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They are not always reliable. Sometimes the clocks downstairs will say a train might be leaving at 7:32, but the clocks on the platform might be blank (no time estimate), and the train actually leaves at 7:28. They are notoriously unreliable when it comes to the (N)’s departure time.

That's a dispatch issue, no? Aren't the trains starting off from there, rather than arriving from another station?

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Are they also using the LED signs they had at the Broadway local stations from the previous pilot?

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