On Wednesday, New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) announced the launch of a public beta test of DepartureVision, a new service that displays train departure boards on mobile devices, such as iPhones, Blackberries or Web-enabled cell phones.
With DepartureVision, customers can view actual train departure screens — including arrival time, track assignment and train status — right in the palm of their hand.
NJ Transit is the first transit agency in the region to provide this service on mobile devices.
The beta test of the service will take place over a period of six to eight weeks, using train departure boards for Frank R. Lautenberg Station at Secaucus Junction — an ideal test environment because of the large number of customers that transfer at the station. NJ Transit will collect feedback over the pilot period and incorporate it when the technology is launched more broadly in the months ahead.
Among the benefits of DepartureVision, customers traveling to Secaucus Junction will be able to view connecting track information before arriving at the station. Similarly, customers who use the new Meadowlands Rail Line to travel to and from football games or major events will be able to check their Secaucus connections from Giants Stadium.
As an additional benefit, users can click on an individual train to see a list of stations it serves. Customers can access the new system by visiting njtransit.com from their Web-enabled mobile device.
In recent years, the transit agency has implemented a series of Web enhancements to improve the flow of information to and from customers, including RSS feeds for train, bus and light rail status; a computerized Lost and Found system; Google Transit integration, a mobile Website and mobile “Contact Us” feature for Web-enabled mobile devices.
Introduced in 2006, NJ Transit's mobile Website gives customers the ability to tap into the most popular areas of njtransit.com in a streamlined format optimized for Web-enabled mobile devices — enabling them to check schedules and fares from wherever they are, and scan up-to-the-minute information about system operations and delays.