MTA to begin 90-day test of countdown clocks along the N, Q, and R lines

The countdown is on.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that on Thursday, August 8, the MTA is beginning a 90-day test of countdown clocks in eight subway stations along the N, Q, and R lines.

“These actions are the latest steps toward rebuilding and transforming the MTA into a unified, state-of-the-art transportation network that will meet the needs of current and future generations of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said. “With this new and updated technology, we’ll help ensure riders have the information they need to get where they need to go.”

According to the MTA, the goal is to install the clocks in all 269 lettered-line stations, as countdown clocks currently serve only 176 stations, including the L line’s 24 stations.

The computer screens, which are an upgrade from the MTA’s current LED digital display screens, will inform straphangers of public service announcements and other content.

Initially, testing will be performed at the 23rd Street, 28th Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street, 49th Street, 57th Street, Fifth Avenue/59th Street and Lexington Avenue/59th subway stops, and will include two countdown clocks with enhanced LCD screens.

During the 90-day test of the clocks, the MTA will work to identify and correct any issues with the new system. The additions are part of Cuomo’s $27 billion, five-year MTA Capital Program to improve customer service.

“Governor Cuomo challenged the MTA to develop an aggressive approach to putting countdown clocks on the lettered lines, and our technology team’s response has been phenomenal,” said MTA Chairperson and CEO Thomas Prendergast. “In very short order, they developed an easy to deploy, cost-effective system that we think will play a central role in bringing this essential service to more and more of our customers. We look forward to learning from this test, as well as to developing a roll out plan based on our findings.”

The MTA has also been awarded three contracts to perform the Digital Information Screens Pilot Program, which will give 131 buses the installation of digital information screens to ultimately be installed on a total of 3,600 buses.

The pilot will initially include the B46 SBS, a route that travels from Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to Kings Plaza Shopping Center, and the S79 SBS, which goes from Bay Ridge to the Staten Island Mall.

The digital screens will offer audio and visual route information and display next stop information, service advisories and travel information, including transfers.

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