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Innovation

Countdown Clocks Image

Learn More about Countdown Clocks...

Innovation Project: Countdown Clocks

Goal: Install at 153 stations on the 1 subway 2 subway 3 subway 4 subway 5 subway and 6 subway lines by December 2011. Completed.
Click here to see the list of stations.

The Canarsie L subway line is currently the only subway line in the system that has active countdown clocks at each of its 24 stations.

Status: 177 stations (153 on the numbered lines, and 24 on the L subway)

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.

Please note: In certain subway stations, when we experience several days of hot weather temperatures can exceed 120 degrees in the communications rooms that hold the equipment that drive the Countdown Clocks. We are constantly monitoring temperatures and working to install cooling systems in impacted communications rooms. We know our customers have come to rely on the "next train arrival" information and we apologize for the inconvenience and ask for their patience as we work to resolve this issue.

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