Thursday, April 01, 2010

Metro-North Train Time TM expands reach to 96 stations

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MTA Metro-North Railroad has fully activated Train Time TM system-wide, providing access to train schedules and on-time status on smart phone devices as well as computer screens for a total of 96 stations.

The service was launched in mid-January with 67 stations. Since then, nearly a quarter of a million people have used this free service that allows customers to check the status of train service in real time at their home stations or wherever they are traveling. 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. 

Smart phones and computers will show whether a train is On Time, Late, Canceled or Delayed, including the number of minutes it is late.

Go to http://as0.mta.info/mnr/mstations/default.cfm 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 agency's website also has a link to Metro-North Train Time from each station page.

By adding 29 stations, Metro-North's implementation of TrainTime is complete. This innovative service was developed in-house with no contractor expense. 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 hand-held-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 minor enhancements to the signal system were needed to provide additional information about a train's specific location in reference to a specific station platform.

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 the agency uses 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 DepartureVisionTM 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.

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