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Countdown Clocks Image

Learn More about Countdown Clocks...

Innovation Project: Countdown Clocks

Also known as: Public Address Customer Information Screens (PA/CIS) system.

What they are: Electronic signs in subway stations that let customers know, in minutes, when the next train is scheduled to arrive.

Where they are: Screens are installed on the platform and near turnstiles where customers can view or hear information before paying their fare.

Benefits: Countdown Clocks:

  • Display and broadcast messages about when the next train(s) are due to arrive at a station
  • Provide the capability to report service delays and convey emergency information
  • Eliminate the temptation to peer down a subway platform looking for train headlights
  • Show whether an arriving train is a 'local' or 'express' at stations where both services are available.

Where the information comes from: information originates from NYC Transit's Rail Control Center (RCC).

History: The first clocks appeared on the Canarsie L subway line in January 2007, followed by the Pelham 6 subway line in the Bronx, and numbered lines in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Countdown Clocks are also coming to Queens on the 7 subway line upon the completion of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) signaling.

You may also be interested to know: Riders at 19 stations on the A subway C subway and E subway lines in Manhattan, 13 Stations on the E subway F subway M subway and R subway lines in Queens and one station in Brooklyn benefit from electronic signs that provide similar, but simpler information. They were modified by in-house maintenance personnel, and rely on the signal system's track circuits to prompt the display to show that a train is on the way.

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