LIRR Updates Rider Information Systems

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Digital platform signs now show a diagram of the arriving train, real-time seating capacity in each car, and the observer’s relative position to the train (pictured) to help with seat selection.

Digital platform signs now show a diagram of the arriving train, real-time seating capacity in each car, and the observer’s relative position to the train (pictured) to help with seat selection.

MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is introducing changes to its TrainTime® app as well as platform signs and audio announcements to provide real-time seat availability information an improve rider accessibility.

The moves are in conjunction with new timetables that go into effect March 29, restoring the weekday service levels that had been in place from Jan. 25 through March 5.

LIRR’s TrainTime app has been updated to show—and refresh every 15 seconds—the number of riders in each car of every train as well as the user’s relative position within the train to help with seat selection. (This is in addition to the app’s four-tiered color-coded system of green, yellow, orange or red to indicate seating availability.) The app now also allows users to locate elevators, escalators and ramps o origin and destination platforms, and offers enhanced screen reader support for blind or low-vision users with a read-aloud feature that can be adapted for speed and volume.

In addition, digital platform signs have been updated to show a diagram of the arriving train, seating capacity in each car, and the observer’s relative position to the train. And audio announcements now advise riders where within an approaching train they are likely to find more seats, such as the rear, middle or front of the train. (Penta Corp. provided both the audio and visual rider information updates.)

“As our customers come back to the system, we are providing them as much information about their ride as possible, including more tools to find space on a train,” President Phil Eng said.

In January, LIRR added a live chat feature to its TrainTime® app, as another way for riders to get information or report problems.

For more on LIRR’s TrainTime® app, listen to a Commuter Rail Coalition-sponsored Rail Group On Air podcast on the “Route of the Informed Commuter,” with Phil Eng and Will Fisher.

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