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More Countdown Clocks Coming to Subway Stations

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Subway riders at five stations along the Pelham 6 Line in the Bronx no longer need to lean over the platform to see if their train is coming. Though still in the initial testing phase, real-time train arrival messages mark an important milestone in the effort to provide MTA New York City Transit's subway customers with up-to-date travel information employing 21st Century technology. This is a major component of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's effort to substantially upgrade customer communications across its entire network. These stations join the 24 L line stations which already have these signs in place.

Designed to take the guesswork out of waiting for a train, the Public Address Customer Information Screen (PA/CIS) provides train arrival messages in audio and video. The messages indicate when the next two trains are due to arrive at the station and their destinations.

"These signs are extremely flexible and customer friendly," explained NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast. "Our customers have long been accustomed to having to guess when the next train will arrive. With this system, we are taking a quantum leap forward in customer communications and the information we are offering."Aside from train arrivals, the system also allows NYC Transit to provide both audio and visual messages to customers, keeping them fully informed about service delays or emergency situations. The system will be rolled out incrementally, with 100 total stations up and running in 2010 and all of the stations on the numbered lines completed in 2011.

The information distributed through the PA/CIS system originates from NYC Transit's Rail Control Center (RCC). From the RCC, Customer Service Agents provide subway customers with service status and other information either as audio only, visual only, or as synchronized audio and visual information.

The messaging equipment is now operational in the Brook Avenue, Cypress Avenue, E.143rd Street-St. Mary's Street, E. 149th Street and Longwood Avenue Stations. The system includes signs and speakers which are located on the platforms and in the fare control areas prior to entering the station.

PA/CIS was first introduced along the Canarsie L line in January 2007 using a Communication-based train control.