Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Caltrain testing real-time info system

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Caltrain said Tuesday it will begin testing a Predictive Arrival/Departure System that will tell riders in real time when their train will arrive at the station and whether the train is on time.

The first round of testing will occur July 9 through July 13, the agency said.

The system will use both visual messages at the train stations and audio announcements on the train platform address systems. Caltrain noted that during the testing period, passengers and others may hear live testing announcements, with both visual messages and audio announcements beginning with a cautionary "this is a test" preamble.

Additional testing is expected to take place in August and September of this year. Caltrain expects the system to go live by the end of the year. Once the system is installed, customers also will be able to go to the Caltrain website to get real-time information arrival and departure information.

The new system will work in tandem with GPS technology already on Caltrain locomotives and will transmit information about the train's speed and location to Caltrain's Central Control Center. From there, it will be automatically sent to digital message signs at the train stations. Automatic announcements also will be made over the public address system.