Monday, December 19, 2011

LIRR Train Time™ pilot launched

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Long Island Rail Road launched a pilot of LIRR Train TimeTM, a digital service that provides real-time train arrival status to customers using mobile devices or desktop computers. Starting December 19, LIRR customers using the Port Washington Branch will be able to use the service by going to http://mta.info/lirr/TrainTime.

To use the service, a user enters his or her 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

"Each day, our customers are becoming more familiar with CooCoo text schedules and a wonderful, ever-growing availability of LIRR-related apps for iPhones, Android devices and Blackberries," said Helena Williams, president of MTA Long Island Rail Road. "We're delighted to take the next step to further improve the digital information that makes traveling on the LIRR easier and more rewarding. Now, our customers will be able to get access to the same convenient information offered by real-time electronic signs on our platforms, before they get to the station."

Train Time uses real-time train location information provided by an enhanced state-of-the-art GPS system and from the LIRR's signal system. Its graphic interface is based on the one used by Metro-North Train TimeTM, a similar service that launched last year. 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 piloting its edition of Train Time on the Port Washington Branch because the branch does not connect with other branches at Jamaica. The transfer columns will remain blank during this 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 terms of number of minutes late. In keeping with U.S. industry-wide railroad standards for on-time performance, trains arriving within 5 minutes and 59 seconds of their scheduled time are listed as being on time.

Because of the complex operational dynamics at Penn Station, where last-minute track changes can be made, LIRR Train TimeTM does not show track assignments at Penn Station. Track assignments are available at all other participating stations.

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