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Via Garibaldi 8

New Real-time Arrival Clocks on Subway’s Lettered Lines Frustrate Riders

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As MTA installs real-time arrival clocks on subway’s lettered lines, riders see countdown to frustration  

 

clocks.jpg            Architect Alejandro Barrero, of Brooklyn, was "absolutely confused" in the Fulton Center subway station.  (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, September 5, 2017, 7:37 PM
 

Countdown clocks are finally arriving at more subway stations — but frustrated riders say they’re counting to 10.

The screens that helpfully tell straphangers when the next train will arrive have been springing up in inconvenient places, deep in the middle of platforms or obstructed by jumbles of equipment and signs, leaving riders exasperated.

 

Brenda Hooper, 60, said she had to muscle her way through a crowd waiting for A and C trains at Lower Manhattan’s Fulton Center to find a clock nestled deep inside the lengthy platform.

 

“It’s stupid, what can I say?” Hooper, a paralegal from Bedford-Stuyvesant, said as she waited for the clock to show when the next downtown C train would arrive. “If you don’t have a phone to check the system, you gotta walk to the middle to get the information.”

 

Also at the Fulton Center, a clock for the A and C lines mounted above the entrance to the uptown platform on the Nos. 4 and 5 lines stopped architect Alejandro Barrero in his tracks. He stared at the poorly placed countdown clock in his hurried rush to find his platform.

 

“I was absolutely confused,” said Barrero, 33, of Brooklyn. “It needs to be intuitive.”

clocks.jpg         Brenda Hooper, 60, said she had to muscle her way through a crowd waiting for A and C trains at Lower Manhattan’s Fulton Center to find a clock nestled deep inside the lengthy platform.  (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

For years, riders have been able to use countdown clocks at stations on the system’s numbered lines, which utilize a digital computer system to track the trains.

 

The MTA decided to design the clocks on the letter lines with simpler Bluetooth “beacons” technology that’s installed on each train and station platform.

 

Last week, the MTA activated the countdown clocks at E and G stations, with all letter-line stations to get them by the end of the year. Of the 296 stations that have the clocks, 116 use beacon technology.

 

Clocks were put in the middle of each platform for consistency’s sake, so riders would know where to go to find information, according to MTA spokesman Shams Tarek.

 

“Real-time arrival information is absolutely essential and we’re proud to deliver it on platforms, on phones using WiFi and cell service available in every station and directly to our customers,” Tarek said in a statement.

 

clocks.jpg            Clocks were put in the middle of each platform for consistency’s sake, so riders would know where to go to find information, according to MTA spokesman Shams Tarek.  (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Despite its good intentions, the MTA failed to put straphangers’ needs front and center, according to Jon Orcutt, director of advocacy at the nonprofit Transit Center and a former city Department of Transportation official.

 

Orcutt, a Greenpoint resident, complained he noticed the clocks at nearby G line stations were placed on the platform at spots down the platform from where riders wait for the shortened four-car train.

 

“It’s something that’s supposed to be useful as you come into the platform,” Orcutt said. “You can’t just bolt these things up at random.”

 

Riders say more of the clocks need to be installed so straphangers don’t get hung up hunting for a screen to tell them when the next train will pull up.

 

Heather Bryant, 40, of Queens, said she looks for countdown clocks when she enters a station. But on a platform at the Queens Plaza stop, Bryant breezed past one facing a staircase because it was lost in a clutter of station signs.

 

clocks.jpg                 A new countdown clock at the entrance of the uptown 23rd St. and Eighth Ave. subway station.  (JEFFERSON SIEGEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

“New Yorkers are always on the go, it’s good to have them in different places, in case you miss it,” the English professor from Sunnyside said.

 

At the 23rd St. stop along the C and E lines, the countdown clock was mounted a block deep in the middle of the platform, next to an exit-only stairway that leads to 24th St.

 

“It’s kind of annoying,” said Jocelyn Arroyo, 21, a front desk associate from Jamaica, Queens, who was waiting at the station. “For me to see this, I’d have to come to the center.”

 

That’s unhelpful for a rider like Arroyo, who said she often boards trains at the ends of a platform, closer to the exits.

 

“I think there should be at least three,” she said, “so we don’t have to walk more than we need to.”

 

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/new-subway-countdown-clocks-frustrating-mta-riders-article-1.3471801

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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They were rushed. The Governor said that they would be done by the end of the year when it was intended to be finished next year. The people responsible here had no choice bus to rush it to meet the deadlines. Once the deadlines are met, the stations will have them moved to more convenient places, and there will be more of them. They are making a list.

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They were rushed. The Governor said that they would be done by the end of the year when it was intended to be finished next year. The people responsible here had no choice bus to rush it to meet the deadlines. Once the deadlines are met, the stations will have them moved to more convenient places, and there will be more of them. They are making a list.

They need to go back and do the ones put in on the number lines.  At 96th street, if you get off towards the end of the platform heading southbound, there's a countdown clock literally hidden behind a beam.  <_<  I walked by it initially looking for one for the (2)(3) lines and then realized it coming back to where I was originally.  Overall they are poorly placed, and sometimes I don't feel like walking around to find one, so I take my phone out and use that.  There should be more than three clocks on each platform because the length of the platforms stretch several blocks above ground.

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This Article is joke right? Cause a few years back before countdown clocks got introduced on the IRT people were complaining about they know when the next train was coming..." fast forward to today and people are complaining about fact they got to walk to center of the platform to find out when the next train is coming... what the want the information in the face minute step foot on the platform?

 

On a side note I love how the Article makes no mention of the fact that the PA system in the stations convey the same info riders are "hunting for"

as if no one haven't heard announcements about various things such as the Next Brooklyn TRAIN WILL ARRIVE IN X MINUTES or the Many service disruptions. All in all the world isn't perfect  so if the TA needs to adjust the location of some of the clocks they should but the situation isn't as dire as this article paints it out to be.  

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This Article is joke right? Cause a few years back before countdown clocks got introduced on the IRT people were complaining about they know when the next train was coming..." fast forward to today and people are complaining about fact they got to walk to center of the platform to find out when the next train is coming... what the want the information in the face minute step foot on the platform?

 

On a side note I love how the Article makes no mention of the fact that the PA system in the stations convey the same info riders are "hunting for"

as if no one haven't heard announcements about various things such as the Next Brooklyn TRAIN WILL ARRIVE IN X MINUTES or the Many service disruptions. All in all the world isn't perfect  so if the TA needs to adjust the location of some of the clocks they should but the situation isn't as dire as this article paints it out to be.  

Because it's not the same thing.  In some stations it's nearly impossible to hear the PA, so the PA is useless.  Broadway-Lafayette is a perfect example. You can never hear the PA because it's too low and the trains drown out everything.  Additionally, try walking to the center of the platform at Times Square or several other stations most of the day. It's a mob scene, not to mention dangerous with so many people packed everywhere.  Having the countdown clocks in various places will help reduce crowding in certain parts of the platform, which is already insane as it is.  You need to think logically.  

 

The article makes perfect sense, and I don't even ride the subway every day, but when I use it, I'd like to know how long I have to wait so that if there's a problem I can plan alternatives, OR take another train, thus cutting down my commute time.  We live in a world that is more and more fast-paced, and with the ongoing delays, these improvements are extremely helpful.  Having these clocks can be the difference for people making their meetings, or knowing to just take taxi.  It eliminates a level of uncertainty which is very helpful.  You'll understand this as you get older and have to work for a living.

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If I googled my neighborhood, Ridgewood, under the news tab, the only news articles for today are about DCAC. Nothing about the drive by shooting that happened last night AROUND THE CORNER FROM MY HOUSE.

 

 

This is all the key problem with the media. They don't want to inform you. They just want you pissed off. Two years ago it was "we don't have count down clocks." Now it's "we don't have count down clocks exactly where we want them." 

 

I'm sure the person doing this little interviews ran into several people who are quite happy with the system, and then left those out because it doesn't help their agenda of belittling transit. 

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If I googled my neighborhood, Ridgewood, under the news tab, the only news articles for today are about DCAC. Nothing about the drive by shooting that happened last night AROUND THE CORNER FROM MY HOUSE.

 

 

This is all the key problem with the media. They don't want to inform you. They just want you pissed off. Two years ago it was "we don't have count down clocks." Now it's "we don't have count down clocks exactly where we want them." 

 

I'm sure the person doing this little interviews ran into several people who are quite happy with the system, and then left those out because it doesn't help their agenda of belittling transit. 

So in other words, the riding public should not expect countdown clocks in 2017 and should have go on a hunt to get them.  I see somebody is with the times.  <_< Then again, you live in a neighborhood where the subway is knocked out constantly on the weekends anyway, so you're used to subpar service.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Because it's not the same thing.  In some stations it's nearly impossible to hear the PA, so the PA is useless.  Broadway-Lafayette is a perfect example. You can never hear the PA because it's too low and the trains drown out everything.  Additionally, try walking to the center of the platform at Times Square or several other stations most of the day. It's a mob scene, not to mention dangerous with so many people packed everywhere.  Having the countdown clocks in various places will help reduce crowding in certain parts of the platform, which is already insane as it is.  You need to think logically.  

 

The article makes perfect sense, and I don't even ride the subway every day, but when I use it, I'd like to know how long I have to wait so that if there's a problem I can plan alternatives, OR take another train, thus cutting down my commute time.  We live in a world that is more and more fast-paced, and with the ongoing delays, these improvements are extremely helpful.  Having these clocks can be the difference for people making their meetings, or knowing to just take taxi.  It eliminates a level of uncertainty which is very helpful.  You'll understand this as you get older and have to work for a living.

The PA System is not useless and they can be turned up if need be however the problem is too many people ignore them to consider what its saying vs it being too low. Besides I have countless experience with the countdown clocks on the L train and the IRT to tell the mass that there are glitches in information seen on those screens, hell sometimes they don't even work or display the next train info. Lastly i'm not against add more countdowns on the platforms or relocating the current ones but this article is make this seem like the countdown clocks are a deal breaker for people taking the subway, as if we haven't gone decades with said technology. 

 

If I googled my neighborhood, Ridgewood, under the news tab, the only news articles for today are about DCAC. Nothing about the drive by shooting that happened last night AROUND THE CORNER FROM MY HOUSE.

 

 

This is all the key problem with the media. They don't want to inform you. They just want you pissed off. Two years ago it was "we don't have count down clocks." Now it's "we don't have count down clocks exactly where we want them." 

 

I'm sure the person doing this little interviews ran into several people who are quite happy with the system, and then left those out because it doesn't help their agenda of belittling transit. 

 You hit the nail right on its head. Some angles of the story was taken out to undermine the progress they are trying to make.

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The PA System is not useless and they can be turned up if need be however the problem is too many people ignore them to consider what its saying vs it being too low. Besides I have countless experience with the countdown clocks on the L train and the IRT to tell the mass that there are glitches in information seen on those screens, hell sometimes they don't even work or display the next train info. Lastly i'm not against add more countdowns on the platforms or relocating the current ones but this article is make this seem like the countdown clocks are a deal breaker for people taking the subway, as if we haven't gone decades with said technology. 

It is when it can be heard.  Of course they aren't going to be perfect, but a difference of a few minutes and having to wait say 15-20 minutes is huge.  There have been times when I've been able to make connections because of those countdown clocks, so they definitely can be helpful when trying to get around quickly.  

 

Regarding the countdown clocks, first off they are well overdue.  It's 2017 and they still don't have countdown clocks in all stations.  That in and of itself is a disgrace, so I understand the criticism.  We the riding public have been waiting long enough, so now that they're putting them in, let's get them right and make them useful, which is what they're there for.  These are the types of things that we need if we're going to get people to continue to use public transportation and not drive and clog up the roads.  

 

If you use the same subway stations and know where they're located, then of course you'll likely like them, as has been the case with me, but in stations where they have just been put in or I don't frequent often, that's when I realize what a pain it is finding them and when I become annoyed.

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What I'm saying is the media are over emphisising the system's flaws over it's postive aspects (first and foremost being the fact it exists) for the sole reason of sales, ether physical sales or ad space, and NOT out the altruistic concept of bringing to light problems with a rush job operation. Does it have problems? yes. Are these outlets interested in them being fixed? No, because they'd have nothing to complain about!

 

For every Jacob Riis left in modern media, there's about ten thousand Geraldo Riveras trying to open Al Capone's vault (...that reference just went over the heads of half this site's users but so be it...). They go for shock value and attention, not the truth. From the Post running that picture of man seconds away from being run over by a Q train, to Dan Rather and Memo gate to the History Channel's metamorphism into the "Hysterical Channel" where every other show was about the end of the world if they weren't giving that Ancient Alien guy screen time.

 

This is a large part of the reason if I want news, I'd rather go the BBC. When Sandy hit five years ago, the local media were all with the gefingerpoken on what had gone wrong, not what was actually happening in the city. They were more likely to go on and on about things like " this storm is the end result of climate change" and "Politicians visiting" than what roads were passible, which bridges I could cross and which subway lines were open. I had better coverage of what was going on on the ground from a network 3000 miles away across an ocean. 

 

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What I'm saying is the media are over emphisising the system's flaws over it's postive aspects (first and foremost being the fact it exists) for the sole reason of sales, ether physical sales or ad space, and NOT out the altruistic concept of bringing to light problems with a rush job operation. Does it have problems? yes. Are these outlets interested in them being fixed? No, because they'd have nothing to complain about!

 

For every Jacob Riis left in modern media, there's about ten thousand Geraldo Riveras trying to open Al Capone's vault (...that reference just went over the heads of half this site's users but so be it...). They go for shock value and attention, not the truth. From the Post running that picture of man seconds away from being run over by a Q train, to Dan Rather and Memo gate to the History Channel's metamorphism into the "Hysterical Channel" where every other show was about the end of the world if they weren't giving that Ancient Alien guy screen time.

 

This is a large part of the reason if I want news, I'd rather go the BBC. When Sandy hit five years ago, the local media were all with the gefingerpoken on what had gone wrong, not what was actually happening in the city. They were more likely to go on and on about things like " this storm is the end result of climate change" and "Politicians visiting" than what roads were passible, which bridges I could cross and which subway lines were open. I had better coverage of what was going on on the ground from a network 3000 miles away across an ocean. 

 

I understand what you're saying completely, and you're partially correct. At the same time, that's part of what the media is there for, to point out problems and put the spotlight on them so that they are addressed.  The (MTA) overall has been doing a lousy job and therefore the attention is well deserved at the moment.  When they get their act together they won't be in the news so much.

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At the stations where the new countdown clocks are enabled, they should disable the old system (the one that says "The next Brooklyn-bound Local train is 3 stations away", etc.) and make the (sometimes not very) old LED signs display proper countdown times.

 

This applies to Central Park West, Queens Blvd, etc.

Edited by P3F
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I understand what you're saying completely, and you're partially correct. At the same time, that's part of what the media is there for, to point out problems and put the spotlight on them so that they are addressed.  The (MTA) overall has been doing a lousy job and therefore the attention is well deserved at the moment.  When they get their act together they won't be in the news so much.

That’s just about all they are there for—and also celebrity gossip and sports. $1 buys you more toilet paper, so save it for the supermarket runs.

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We can debate the merits of articles like these until the cows come home. The fact remains this is an issue that should have been foreseen the moment they started installing the LCD monitors. One screen in the mezzanine area and one on each platform may work at a low-use station like 88 Street on the (A) line, but that same approach is quite useless in the larger stations. I mentioned a couple of months ago when all of the non-Broadway signs were still displaying MTA promotional information, that in a large station, like Rockefeller Center for instance, needs multiple signs to adequately serve the multitudes of riders using that station. A one size fits all approach does not work here, especially when the one size is blatantly leaning towards the single entrance stations as opposed to those with multiple entryways.

 

At the stations where the new countdown clocks are enabled, they should disable the old system (the one that says "The next Brooklyn-bound Local train is 3 stations away", etc.) and make the (sometimes not very) old LED signs display proper countdown times.

 

This applies to Central Park West, Queens Blvd, etc.

This is an excellent idea. We know that those older signs are capable of actually displaying useful information since we've seen them in action for the past few years showing a crude version of next train arrivals. Therefore, it shouldn't be too difficult to link the data flowing into the LCD screens to the older displays, at least as an interim solution until they are able to replace them with newer models. I noticed that the live train arrivals will also appear on the On The Go kiosks as well, but most people won't know that because they're used to those displays showing scheduled departures. A quick blurb on the MTA's site can clear up that potential misconception. This is just a couple of ways the agency can use all of the tools currently at their disposal to inform riders that real-time train arrival data is available.

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Whiny entitled people from a whiny entitled culture will always find something to whine and cry about.

 

And the media benefits from people being pissed off, commenting angrily on articles, and refreshing the page to drive ad revenue, so it doesn't benefit them to talk about improvements or have people happy.

Edited by SubwayGuy
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Whiny entitled people from a whiny entitled culture will always find something to whine and cry about.

 

And the media benefits from people being pissed off, commenting angrily on articles, and refreshing the page to drive ad revenue, so it doesn't benefit them to talk about improvements or have people happy.

 

The way some of these people whine i can imagine how they would have dealt with stuff in the 80s..

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The way some of these people whine i can imagine how they would have dealt with stuff in the 80s..

Yeah, but we're not in the 80s, so you're comparing apples to oranges.  That's like saying I couldn't imagine how they dealt with stuff in the 50s.  Completely different times in 2017 versus more than 30 years ago.

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Also, they put too few clocks. Some stations like Jackson Heights or Herald Square have 10 stairs to the platform. On the IRT, the clocks were placed near every single stair, so they were useful. But on the B Division, I feel like the MTA is just doing this to claim that they have clocks in every station. Realistically, there's only one in the middle of the platform and another at *one* of the exits. In some cases the clocks only show the next two trains even if the station has 3 or 4 services.

 

If the MTA wants to install these clocks, they should at least place the clocks in the best location, rather than worrying about the sheer number of stations that have the data.


This Article is joke right? Cause a few years back before countdown clocks got introduced on the IRT people were complaining about they know when the next train was coming..." fast forward to today and people are complaining about fact they got to walk to center of the platform to find out when the next train is coming... what the want the information in the face minute step foot on the platform?

 

The problem before was that people were unfamiliar with the clocks. Now, people know the IRT clocks so they're used to seeing BMT and IND clocks near the same locations on the platforms and exit areas. The fact that there are only 3 clocks per B Div station, regardless of size or capacity, is slightly annoying.

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Yeah, but we're not in the 80s, so you're comparing apples to oranges.  That's like saying I couldn't imagine how they dealt with stuff in the 50s.  Completely different times in 2017 versus more than 30 years ago.

 

Exactly more self entitled whiners around...

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Exactly more self entitled whiners around...

 

Expecting things that are standard in plenty of places around the world isn't called being self-entitled, it's called having standards. This attitude is why the subway ridership is finally starting to dip, and why the bus ridership has been sinking for a while.

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Expecting things that are standard in plenty of places around the world isn't called being self-entitled, it's called having standards. This attitude is why the subway ridership is finally starting to dip, and why the bus ridership has been sinking for a while.

Yep.  At some point there is no point in paying more and more for less.  I want to see the state of things when the next fare hike rolls in.  If they jack up the fare and nothing has changed (which is very likely) I myself may switch to a car pool.  It's becoming harder and harder to get around and I say to myself, I'm "sacrificing" and taking public transit and for what? All of the technology is such a must because the system is falling apart.  I now never just go and take the subway. I always check the status page before I do anything.

 

These clocks aren't an improvement, but a necessity for a system playing catch-up.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Expecting things that are standard in plenty of places around the world isn't called being self-entitled, it's called having standards. This attitude is why the subway ridership is finally starting to dip, and why the bus ridership has been sinking for a while.

 

Not disagreeing with that..  

 

Yet people constantly complaining instead of looking for solutions..

 

Whining...

 

Thats  my take...

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Not disagreeing with that..  

 

Yet people constantly complaining instead of looking for solutions..

 

Whining...

 

Thats  my take...

 

 

....because the solution for that is very simple: just put more screens......

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They need to go back and do the ones put in on the number lines.  At 96th street, if you get off towards the end of the platform heading southbound, there's a countdown clock literally hidden behind a beam.  <_<  I walked by it initially looking for one for the (2)(3) lines and then realized it coming back to where I was originally.  Overall they are poorly placed, and sometimes I don't feel like walking around to find one, so I take my phone out and use that.  There should be more than three clocks on each platform because the length of the platforms stretch several blocks above ground.

they could also enable announcements.

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