Updated (4:15 p.m.): As the expensive PA/CIS roll-out continues along the A Division stops, New York City Transit is continuing its attempts at a low-cost solution for a few key B Division stations. The latest to enjoy this new-to-New York technology is the popular Stillwell Ave. terminal at Coney Island.
This past weekend, Transit debuted a series of screens on the station’s four platforms that inform riders which train will be leaving next. As shown above, the screen will display the line information with an arrow pointing toward the next train to depart, as the signs currently in use on the 42nd St. shuttle platforms do. This is, says Transit, Phase I of a larger pilot program that will provide train departure track and time information throughout the popular station.
“Providing easy to understand travel information to our customers is one of our primary goals as we look to introduce cost effective new technology into the system,” Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast said. “While not as sophisticated as what we have in place on the Canarsie L line, or what is going in on the IRT, this next train departure information system is something our customers will come to rely on as they head home from a fun day at Coney Island.”
For now, this solution — engineered and installed in-house with the system supplied by SolariUSA — will feature four 32-inch high-definition, sun-readable LCD screens in the middle of each track. The signs will be activated by the dispatches at Coney Island. This initial pilot features track-specific signs, but according to Transit, later phases will incorporate a larger screen near the fare-control area that displays track and time departure information in the form of a reverse countdown similar to those information boards used by commuter rails. Transit is, in other words, trying to take the guesswork out of Stillwell Ave., and riders will no longer have to use their powers of ESP to determine if, say, the Manhattan-bound N or D will be leaving before the Q or F.
As yet, there is no timeline for the future phases of this project, and the MTA has yet to release a cost estimate. It is, however, a much-needed addition to the Coney Island terminal.
After the jump, another view of the new screens.