Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good and Bad News for Riders

(+) Yesterday, Google, the MTA, and New York Governor David Paterson unveiled Google transit for New York City. The Google Maps-based program helps travelers plan trips through an integration of the region's transit networks, including New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North, PATH, and New Jersey Transit. The maps will feature directions as well as suggested alternatives and even incorporates schedules. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were also on hand at Grand Central to release the local version of Transit, which was already available in over 60 other U.S. cities and in areas of 9 other countries. The great part was, the MTA did not have to pay for this service, all they had to do was provide the data. Let's give them (MTA and Google) a round of applause!
>>>New York Times: Google Transit Expands to New York

(-) But we just have to end this post on a bad note since we all have to return to reality sometime. If the MTA had spent their own money doing that, I wouldn't have supported it, especially with their deficit growing everyday. Which may explain why the MTA is now delaying the completion of their $185 million, 152 station plan to install electronic displays on the IRT 1-6 lines. The displays which are supposed to provide info about train arrival times, were supposed to be installed by Siemens by 2006, but had their contract canceled due to glitches. The installation is now pushed back until 2011! The L line already has similar technology as part of a pilot. All platforms already have some sort of LED display, installed in the 90s, but all it does is display the current date and time and is useless today since most of us have watches/cellphones. Hopefully, the MTA can just incorporate the current date/time displays with the train arrival system, saving time and money.

>>>Daily News: Subway arrival info behind schedule

P.S.: The weird part is, the uptown Astor Place station has 2 displays, one just recently installed at an end of the platform far away from where most passengers wait for their train...

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