Red Line Will Be First to Have Automated Train Arrival Info

I can get more information off this screen in Shanghai than I can at Wilshire/Vermont

Earlier this week, Curbed LA reported that LCD screens in subway stations will soon feature train arrival information. Curbed Reader Brighan Yen reported:

The new LCD displays will start showing when the next train arrives by May of this yearaccording to someone I spoke to at Metro. This is exciting news for transit-subway riders since it’s very convenient when you know when the next train will arrive instead of being kept in the dark!

After speaking to a Metro spokesperson, LA Streetsblog has some good news and some bad news.

Metro was unable to confirm or deny the timetable for bringing"next train" information to the LCD monitors. Metro did confirm that they are working on this upgrade for all Red and Purple Line stations and expect it to be online soon. While there is currently no time line of any sort to get this information on screens at other heavy and light rail stations, Metro also plans to bring these stations "next train" capability at some point in the future.

Until the train is close to the station, the screens will update information based off the schedule. Once the train is five minutes away, there will be a regularly updated countdown clock until train arrival. The monitors will also say whether the inbound train is a Red or Purple Line train.

On top of the benefit for commuters, this is good news for Metro, who has taken criticism from riders on the current state of the LCD screens. Currently, the screens are running a mini-slide show with reminders not to eat food or take a scooter onto the train.

(Update: Metro staff is now confirming that the LCD upgrades will be in place by "the end of June at the latest.")

Photo: Missybe/Flickr

  • Nice catch Damien. I wonder how long this will really take… I’ve more to say about these screens, I think I’ll save it for a posting.

  • It killed me when I rode BART a few years ago to find they announce when the next train is to arrive, how many cars are in the consist and its destination. A system mostly designed in the 1960s!

    And when will have nextbus information that can be sent to a Palm as you wait at the stop. Other systems are doing it–why not Metro?

  • Damien Goodmon

    “end of June at the latest” in Metro talk, translates to “November … maybe” in English.

  • Bob Zwolinski

    What a concept! A similar system should have been installed when both Wilshire & Hollywood routes become operational. Half the time, it’s impossible to know where the train’s going since most of those quasi-illuminated “destination signs” on the trains hardly work.
    Until the new signs are operational, it would be nice if the train operator would announce the train’s destination on the outside speakers [between Union Station & Wilshire/Vermont] so people won’t be playing “subway roulette”.

  • That such a great expense is going into not only the installation of these rather large flat screen monitors but their maintenance (I have LOADS of videos and photos; considering I have a 40+ hour job and travel frequently enough to NYC and DC, one wonders if I stumble on the activities or if there is far too much time being wasted on this vastly expensive system) prompts one to enquire how DC and NYC do so well with so many people, so much mass transit and in such a relatively small space with mere scrolling LEDs that already offer all the information that MTA CEO Roger Snoble, “mayor” Tony V and the Los Angeles Metro merely promises on its single subway.

  • These screens are just standard off-the-shelf consumer LCD televisions, so they should be easy to replace if need be. Consumer electronics usually go down in price, not up.

    As consumer products, I don’t expect they will require much maintenance either other than cleaning the outer surface. Maybe if vandals start throwing rocks at them, but Metro has at least mounted them very high out of the way.


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