One subway station is about to go very cutting-edge, with technology that allows riders to see the exact location of the next train. NY1's Transit reporter Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
For the past year and a half, riders on the L train have had the unique advantage of knowing how long till the next train arrives. And in a few weeks, some of those riders will even know the exact location of every train along the line, thanks to these new screens known as train locator consoles.
"They'll be able to see trains in real time,” said L line general manager Greg Lombardi. “So if you're sitting at Myrtle-Wyckoff, say, you could look down and you could see an actual icon that represents a train that's at Broadway Junction, so you'll know it's a few stops away."
The icons will show which direction the train is headed, and just how close is it to the platform, represented by two black rectangles. Stations with just one center platform are represented by one black rectangle. The screen will show a long view of the entire line and a close-up view of nearby stations. Riders will also see trains being held, and trains that aren't picking up passengers, and information will be updated every 15 seconds.
Two of the flat-screen monitors are being installed at the Myrtle-Wyckoff station in Brooklyn and will be up and running sometime next month.
The system is relatively cheap, with installation costing about $15,000 per station. So if the consoles are successful in Myrtle-Wyckoff, they could be installed at stations throughout the city.
"This is a pilot, and we want to see how the customers like it, and if they like it, then hopefully there'll be more down the road," said Lombardi.
Transit officials believe the screens could have additional uses, and even help the agency make money.
"The possibilities are endless. We can display ads for revenue generation for the MTA. We can display service advisories up to the minute so that information is always there," said Wilson Milian of NYC Transit Technology Information Services.
Also, when a conductor says there's another train right behind the present train, riders can verify it with the consoles.
"Everybody never believes there's another train coming down the road. Of course there is! Now you can actually see it," said Lombardi.