Home MTA Technology At Coney Island, a new sign for the next train

At Coney Island, a new sign for the next train

by Benjamin Kabak

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.

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11 comments

Kid Twist June 2, 2010 - 3:09 pm

Sixth Avenue Local?

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Benjamin Kabak June 2, 2010 - 4:56 pm

That was from the original picture I had posted. Transit provided me with better images this afternoon. Maybe the D was running local this weekend at the time the photo was snapped. That’s all I can think of.

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Aaron June 2, 2010 - 9:02 pm

The D has been running local periodically lately, as I recall… I know it ran local when I went to the Yankees/Twins game a few weekends ago, I ended up taking the A to the D so as not to do a milk run all the way up the UWS.

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Jerrold June 3, 2010 - 4:50 pm

Thursday, late afternoon

One of the weekend service change E-mails that I just received includes this info:

D trains run local between 145 and 59 Sts

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Jerrold June 2, 2010 - 4:25 pm

Didn’t they have some kind of signs like that a long time ago in that Coney Island station?
I seem to remember that when I was a child in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, and living along the Sea Beach line in Bensonhurst,
the Stillwell Ave. station would have some kind of lit-up arrow pointing to the next train. That way, if you got onto the platform and saw two trains there, you would be able to know which one was leaving first.
I have a similar memory about the Staten Island ferries.
They would have a lit-up “NEXT BOAT” sign in the terminal.
In those days, the ferries also ran between Brooklyn and Staten Island.

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Kai B June 2, 2010 - 4:36 pm

Yes, they’re a modern version of the lighted arrow signs, which still exist today in many forms.

Very cool that they’re using the line names. This should keep them from going extinct in popular culture – I have friends who have lived here for several years and are using the colors!

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JPN June 2, 2010 - 7:52 pm

Sometimes trains take a different route than normal from Coney Island, the D and the N being the most frequent example. Adding the line names should be useful when this happens. And then there are other people who say glossiness has no place in the subway. On that I have no further comment.

Also an important anniversary yesterday: the BMT and IND merged on June 1, 1940. 70 years of total City control and a time before the State had its way.

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Jerrold June 2, 2010 - 8:28 pm

If that date is correct, then when did the IRT merge in?
And wasn’t the IND built by the city, and never owned by a private company?

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JPN June 2, 2010 - 8:35 pm

June 12th, I believe, and the IND was never privately operated. The BMT and IRT systems were private companies who operated the city-owned infrastructure.

Aaron June 2, 2010 - 9:05 pm

They still have those at 14th/8th on the L.

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The Boss June 2, 2010 - 8:32 pm

I saw this electronic signs at the Stillwell Avenue station over the Memorial Day weekend. They look a bit like the departure board at an UK train station.

Reply

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