Thursday, February 11, 2010

Real-time arrival information on MBTA Fitchburg Line

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As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to building a more customer-friendly transportation system, Massachusetts Governor Patrick said that real-time arrival information will be available on MBTA's Fitchburg Commuter Rail line beginning February 11.

The recent installation of Global Positioning Satellite equipment on the Commuter Rail network will allow the MBTA to provide Fitchburg customers waiting on the platform with a six-minute countdown displayed on electronic message boards. Onboard customers will benefit from automated next station announcements.

"We must keep faith with T riders by consistently working to enhance customer service," said Governor Patrick.  "These improvements, combined with the $58 million in stimulus highway funding we transferred to critical transit projects, are examples of our ongoing commitment to strengthening public transit in the Commonwealth."

"With many of our residents relying on the commuter rail system every day, improving service and reliability is a key element of our administration's transportation reform," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  "Major enhancement projects, including the one currently under way for the Fitchburg Line, will speed up service and dramatically improve the commuter rail experience."

Building on this latest technology, the MBTA introduced yet another technological advancement to benefit North Leominster commuter rail customers - real-time arrival information via AM Radio 1630. Available at surface parking lots with 50 or more spaces, the scrolling message displayed on the LED sign is converted to an audio message through a text-to-voice synthesizer and then broadcast on a radio frequency. Commuters tuning into AM Radio 1630 can now remain in their vehicles and listen to the same six-minute countdown available to customers on the platform.

Introduced on 12 of the MBTA's 13 commuter rail lines, this "Next Train" technology provides real-time information. The Haverhill Commuter Rail Line is next to get this technology. Radio access to service information is currently available at North Leominster and Anderson/ Woburn on the Lowell Line. Installation of equipment will continue throughout the system over the next several months.

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