Brooklyn got the “station of the future” yesterday, reports the NY Daily News. “New digital arrival boards, service notices and souped-up intercoms have been installed at the Atlantic Ave.-Pacific St. station.”
Some trial digital boards have been installed elsewhere. But this station is the first to have all three available features.
What are the three features and what will they do for your commute?
Arrival Notices – Display train arrivals in minutes. This will, supposedly, help you to decide if you want to wait. I have an arrival board on my station platform. It’s never correct. When it says the train is due in three or six minutes, the train arrives momentarily. It’s better than the other way around.
Service Disruptions – You will see the information BEFORE you enter the subway, so you can adjust your travel plans.
Platform Intercoms – You will be able to contact dispatchers in an emergency or to ask general questions. Intercoms sound like they might make the subway safer.
The whole digital board system sounds pretty good to me. But the age-old New York question is, “How much?”
Not much, according to the NY Post. The MTA already has “most” of the technology to broadcast the information. So, it just needs to buy the screens. It plans to advertise on the screens to make money.
The MTA hopes to extend the digital system to buses, bus stops, and commuter trains. In addition, it plans to put cell and Wi-Fi services on six Manhattan platforms by the end of next year, according to NY1. (I smell fees). If these services work out, they could extend to Brooklyn.
We may be on the verge of the high-tech commute of the future.
Happy commuting, Downtown B., till next time.
Matthew Bultman, “MTA installs digital arrival boards, other gadgets for Brooklyn subway station,” NY Daily News
Tom Manako, “MTA’s screen play,” The NY Post
NY1 News, “New MTA Digital Screens Show Bus, Subway Schedules,” NY1 News