Monday, December 19, 2011

LIRR launches real-time train status pilot

Written by 

MTA Long Island Rail Road Monday launched a pilot of LIRR Train Time™, a new service providing on-time train status information to passengers. 

LIRR M-7 BombardierLIRR said riders using the Port Washington Branch may go to mta.info/lirr/TrainTime, enter origin and destination, and “Train Time will then provide upcoming departure times and indications showing whether each train is running on time or, if late, by how many minutes. Train Time also displays scheduled arrival time at the destination station, track assignments at most origin stations, and a chance to click for a list of each upcoming train’s intermediate stops.” 

Train Time uses real-time train location information provided by a GPS system and LIRR’s signal system. “Its graphic interface is based on the one used by Metro-North Train Time™, a similar service that launched last year., said the railroad. “But because LIRR customers sometimes need to change trains at Jamaica or other stations, the Long Island Rail Road edition of Train Time has added space to show up to two transfers. Outside of Jamaica, the LIRR’s most common transfer points are Babylon, Hicksville, Huntington, Lynbrook, Mineola, Ronkonkoma and Valley Stream. 

The LIRR is using the Port Washington Branch for the test because the branch does not connect with other branches at Jamaica. The transfer columns will remain blank during pilot release. To the left of these columns, Train Time shows a train’s scheduled arrival time at the selected destination. And next to that, users can click on the “stops” button for each listed trip to view all the intermediate stops made by each train or combination of trains. 

Train delays are shown in number of minutes late. In keeping with industry-wide standards, trains arriving within 5 minutes and 59 seconds of schedule are listed as on time.