Technology

BART upgrades digital signage at stations

Posted on September 4, 2019

BART’s current platform signs are no longer manufactured, making repairs difficult as parts need to be replicated.
BART
BART’s current platform signs are no longer manufactured, making repairs difficult as parts need to be replicated.BART

As part of BART’s new GM Bob Powers’ plan to improve the customer experience through increased communication, the agency unveiled two significant additions to its digital platform signs.

The features include a "Fleet of the Future" tracker and details about cancelled trains.

“These improvements will increase transparency with our riders and will show we are working on ways to make taking BART easier and more enjoyable,” said Powers.

Riders at the platform level will now know if one of the approaching trains is a Fleet of the Future train with three doors or a legacy train with two doors. The display will specifically note if the approaching car has two or three doors. The information is very important for people who use wheelchairs as the wheelchair area on the new cars is located near the middle door. Floor decals marking where the third door lines up on the platform have already been installed at a few stations and will continue to be placed systemwide.

The Fleet of the Future train tracker in being rolled out in phases and will be added to the Real Time Departures feature on bart.gov and the BART Official app before the end of the year. The agency also plans to offer the new train data feed for third-party developers at a later date.

The platform signs will now also make clear when a scheduled train has been cancelled or removed from service. The sign will specifically note when a train has been cancelled, giving riders advance warning. BART’s new Trip Planner shows cancelled trips, but until now the platform signs didn’t. The train would simply disappear from the sign and PA announcements would be made at the station.

The Computer Systems Engineering team is currently exploring the next generation of platform signs and plans to pilot modern signs at three yet-to-be-determined stations in the next 12 months. BART’s current platform signs are no longer manufactured, making repairs difficult as parts need to be replicated. Staff want new signs that use full color to incorporate the color of each line as the new Fleet of the Future trains do and the ability to post side-by-side messages.

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