The MBTA’s Green Line Is Getting ‘Next Train’ Electronic Information Boards

No sign on what the signs will look like, though. Or where they will go.

By | Boston Daily |

The MBTA’s Green Line, often lambasted for its occasional delays, is getting a bit of a technological upgrade.

When the MBTA announced last year that “heavy rail” train stations throughout the system were being retrofitted with countdown clocks, those that use the “light-rail” trolley wondered if the Green Line would ever get its day.

Now, on Thursday, the MBTA will unveil electronic message boards, which will provide “Next Train” information for those riders.

Here’s what the T had to say in a press release:

At Kenmore Station, the MBTA is bringing new technology to the 100-year old Green Line.  For the first time on the Green Line, electronic message boards will provide “Next Train” information.

The MBTA did not clarify whether or not the signs would be above ground, or solely at indoor Green Line stations, or how many would be used.

In the past, when electronic countdown signs were put in along the Red, Blue, and Orange lines, officials said the outdoor Green Line stops were not equipped to host similar devices. However, what the new signs—simply being called “Next Train” electronic boards— look like, and what they will do was not immediately disclosed.

Right now, customers waiting at some underground Green Line stops have to standby for a train’s arrival before they know if it’s the one they want to take. Regardless of where the new signs go, passengers will no longer be stuck wondering if their next trolley is approaching.

The Celtics are even teaming up with the MBTA to mark the technological advancement on the 100-year old service line. The basketball team’s First Round draft pick, Kelly Olynyk, will be taking a ride from Kenmore Station to North Station, alongside Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, following the debut of the electronic message boards on Thursday.

When asked if there were photos of the new signs, the T said there would be plenty available during the unveiling ceremony alongside the Celtics draft pick, so what they may look like, and where they will be situated, remains a mystery—for now. In January, officials said the T would be able to “activate countdown clocks for underground Green Line stations and stations along the D branch where there are existing, overhead electronic message board signs,” following the rollout of the other time-arrival signs, according to Boston.com.

The MBTA installed  51 of 53 total countdown clocks at various stations around the system in June. Those signs show riders the estimated time of arrival of incoming trains, and where the train is headed, using LED lights. The program first rolled out in August of 2012, at South Station.  “We have received overwhelming response from customers that they love the Countdown Clock system,” said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott back in June. “This type of service alleviates some of the stress of commuting and I’m thrilled we can bring this innovative service to even more of our riders.”

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/09/18/green-line-next-train-signs/