The MBTA today announced several major service improvements for commuter rail customers as it exercised the final option on the contract with MBCR to operate the system through July 1, 2013, with a new contract procurement process to begin in 2012.
The customer improvements begin tomorrow morning when a new real-time passenger information system is launched on the Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and Middleboro/Lakeville Lines. For the first time ever, customers on the train platforms will be provided with ‘real time’ arrival information made possible by recently installed Global Position Satellite equipment on each train. Displayed in a countdown format on electronic message boards, the information will provide minute-accurate train arrival times to waiting customers.
The new passenger information system will be introduced next week on the Worcester/Framingham and Lowell lines. By mid-February, all 13 commuter rail lines will be provided with ‘next train’ arrival information.
MBTA is also preparing to launch a communications system to allow commuter rail customers to get the same real-time information on their radios. By tuning to a specific frequency on a radio’s AM band, customers in the parking lots can stay in their automobiles until the train’s arrival is nearing. Before the end of the January, this new customer service initiative will be available at the Anderson Regional Transportation Center in Woburn. In coming weeks, the radio system will be installed at all commuter rail stations with 50 or more parking spaces.
MassDOT and the MBTA also announced that by the end of the summer the commuter rail system’s very popular WiFi service will be expanded to every train on every line, making the MBTA the only commuter rail operator in the country to offer WiFi service on every passenger coach of every train.
Visit the MBTA website to learn more.