In a recently announced pilot program, the NYCT unveiled Station Advisory Information Display Screens (SAID) near the main entrance to the 456 subway at Grand Central Terminal and the 4th Avenue entrance to the Atlantic-Pacific Street Station. This effort, according to the MTA website, is a test of NYCT’s ability to successfully transmit real-time subway service information, as reported on the “Current Service Status” portion of the MTA website, to these new large LCD screens. The split-screen display shows subway line groupings and train service status information. When the service is other than “GOOD”, an explanation is provided.
The PCAC paid a visit to the screen at Grand Central Terminal. While it was bright and easy to read, its location was problematic. It was installed a bit off the beaten track, in between ticket machines on the west side of the entry area, some distance from the main ticket booth. Most travelers stepped off the escalator or stairs and headed directly into the turnstiles or over to the ticket booth and the east side ticket machines. While we stood in front of the screen few people came by. Those that did were looking to buy a ticket.
While this is an admirable initiative, PCAC felt that this pilot screen would have been better placed in the Times Square station in a more central location. For further information see the MTA website.