Improving the on board information system

current-stationFeature no. 1

This article is about some possible improvement in an existing information system on board the train. I took the liberty to schematize instead of taking live pictures. On some modern trains, there are bright colorful displays that announce the next station. This is very practical, for people know in advance where to get off the train.

The information screens offer more than one information. As people get on the train, until the train leaves the station,  people are informed of the name of the current station. During rush hours, it is hard to see the name of the station, despite  having the name of the station in big bold letters , hanged on  posts.  The TV sets  on the train  are placed high enough to be visible to anyone.

stations-to-go

Feature no. 2

As soon as the train leaves the station, the display changes.  A new feature of it. All the stations that the train will stop at scroll up the screen, at a comfortable speed. Sometimes, there are more than twenty stations and a full half a minute is required to display them all. Fortunately, the train goes for  at least 2 minutes between two consecutive stations and this gives plenty of time to the information system. The choice of being able to see  just 4 station names at a time is linked to the size of the text.  The idea is to allow people sitting at 5m from the screen to see the information. And this leads us to the next feature.

next-fourFeature no. 3

It is good to know what the immediate stations are. This is a piece of information that follows the full scroll from the previous section. Again, at rush hours, people might not be able to get of the train on short notice. But with a screen showing what comes up, it is easy to plan the exit strategy. Well, it sounds a bit awkward, but how many times  I managed to get of the train just before the doors closing.

next-stationFeature no. 4

As the he train approaches the next station, a new piece of information is given, so people know what comes next. This is a big text on th screen. It is very similar to the feature no. 1. Overall, it is very comfortable to read.

What I think is missing here is time for connections. Wouldn’t be great to know that I have just 3 minutes to catch the other train ? Or that I have just missed it and the next one is in 10 minutes ?

forking-directionsFeature no. 5 (proposal)

On some lines, there are multiple end stations. In other words, the line forks at some point. On such occasion, there is an audio announce. Unfortunately, for various reasons, especially during rush hours, the crowd is louder than the voice announcing the fork. In such cases, I suggest to add a visual piece of information synchronized with the sound. After all, who would want to take the train in the wrong direction!

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