Friday, August 29, 2008

People Get Ready, There's A Train A-Comin'...

The latest episode of the TransitVue Metro subway info screens, which popped upon June 20, subsequently vanished and came back with a civilian vengeance, though the whole thing is still involved in its active beta-testing phase.

This past week, Metro added a new feature: An approaching train and destination info screen (pictured right; train schedule times have been pixelated in order to obscure details on the Militant's whereabouts) that appears about 30 seconds before a train's arrival and indicates where the train is headed - more practical in the Segment 1 stations under DTLA, of course. The screen image is not exactly new, as it has been appearing at Union Station since early June to inform passengers which side of the platform to board the next departing train. This time, they appear at all subway stations.

The Militant will say that they're a nice addition to the TransitVue screen features, though, of course, the Militant would like to add his pair of pennies just in case some of you may or may not be reading from up there at One Gateway Plaza:
  • The screens disappear way too soon, usually right before the doors have opened. It would still be helpful to riders who have just descended upon the platform to know where the stopped train is going.
  • The cute little cartoony train against the bright UCLA-themed background might be designed to get people's attention (especially riders of the Bruin persuasion, ironic since we're still years from the subway reaching Westwood), but it still fails to inform people which line the arriving train is representin'. So hows about this: Use a red background for Red Line trains and a purple background for...well, the Militant is sure you can put two and two together.
  • If the solid background thing is too much, then at least have a red/purple circle and the name of the line above the main text. Anything would be helpful!
Additionally, the Militant might be imagining things, but he swears he's seen the screen briefly change into a CGI-animated (more Dire Straits video than Pixar though) sequence followed by a message about rail safety or riding procedure. But every time the Militant's mentioned it, people seem to have given him the same "yeah, right" treatment that the denizens of Sesame Street gave Big Bird during Mr. Snuffleupagus' "imaginary friend" phase, and efforts to capture the animated sequence with the MilitantCam have turned up fruitless...So can anyone confirm?


Anonymous said...

I've seen the approaching-train screens since I switched to red-line commuting last at the beginning of August. Of course, they seem to only appear when the transit times are showing. That happens reliably when I'm on a morning rush-hour train, and unreliably on all my other trips.

I've never seen any sort of animation, but I suppose I could look for it next week.

Rogedog said...

Yo as I was heading home from the NoHo Station I saw a "this train departing next" This was my first time seeing this.

It won't let me post picture here, but there's one on My Daily Ride

Militant Angeleno said...

rogedog: Yeah, they have that at Union Station as well...they might also have it at Wilshire/Western too.

Anonymous said...

After not seeing it ever, I saw the CGI animation twice this week, demonstrating how to use the ticket kiosks. It didn't seem to be related to when the trains came.