MBTA to provide real-time arrival info

Posted on March 10, 2009

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) introduced “Next Train” technology that will provide customers with on-board announcements and information on LED signs in stations. 


The current MBTA system relies on several train signaling systems and radio reports to locate trains and estimate train delays. The new Passenger and Train Information System (PTIS) includes the ability to: precisely locate each train using GPS (Automatic Vehicle Location or AVL system); fully automate the “Next Train” system operation, with no human input required; calculate minute-accurate train arrival times to LED signs at all stations; and automatically announce, via the train PA system, approach to and arrival at individual stations for each individual train.


To increase message visibility at stations, the project will include installation of approximately 25 additional signs at 12 commuter rail stations and replacement of 110 outdated existing LED signs with new Adaptive PDS signs. 


Testing of the new equipment is under way on the Haverhill Line as well as other lines on both the North and South sides. Upon completion, installation of equipment will begin throughout the system, with a complete rollout by the end of summer.


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