Convenient, real-time train status and schedule information is now available via smart phones and computers through MTA Metro-North Railroad's innovative, user-friendly Metro-North Train Time system.
Using a web-enabled smart phone or computer, select a station from the user-friendly drop-down menu and click! So far, 67 stations across all three lines are on-line, including Grand Central and Harlem-125th Street, and more will be added this spring.
"This new service allows customers to check the status of train service in real time at their home stations or wherever they are traveling," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "It gives people the freedom to plan a trip and get up-to-the-minute information to make necessary adjustments while they are out and about. We think it's a technology whose time has come."
Smart phones and computers will show whether a train is On Time, Late, Canceled or Delayed, including the number of minutes it is late.
The railroad's announcements and customer information systems had been exception based. That is, no information was reported or posted if trains were on time and track assignments were unchanged. Now, station stops, track assignments and on-time status is immediately available on-line for more and more stations.
Metro-North Train Time is available now and there is nothing to sign up for. Here's how it works:
Go to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's homepage, www.mta.info and select Metro-North, then click on the Metro-North Train Time link and select a station for the real time, on-time status of the next 12 trains arriving or departing at the selected station, track assignments, departure and arrival times, destination and intermediate stops. The website also will have a link to Metro-North Train Time from each station page.
The system uses proprietary software developed in-house by Metro-North's Information Technology and Customer Service departments in conjunction with the Communications & Signal Department and allows handheld-users (Blackberries, Treos, all personal digital assistants and web-based cell phones) to instantly access Metro-North train information and services in a format that is optimized for viewing on their particular device.
The service uses data retrieved from the railroad's signal system. The signal system was designed solely for the safe operation of trains and not to alert customers to what time their next train is coming. Therefore, some enhancements to the signal system are needed to provide additional information about a train's specific location in reference to a specific station platform. These enhancements are underway and more stations will be added.
New Canaan Branch stations are on Metro-North Train Time. However, the Danbury and Waterbury branches, as well as State Street on the New Haven Main Line, do not operate with the system we use to track train status and real-time train information cannot be displayed.
On the Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines, which are operated by NJTRANSIT, real-time train information is available through DepartureVision at http://www.njtransit.com
Metro-North Train Time also can be viewed on large, flat-screen monitors at key select stations: Harlem-125th Street; Fordham; White Plains; Larchmont and Yankees – E. 153rd Street.