Taking Stress Out of the Subway Experience

A really really bad day

Photo credit: TheeErin on Flickr

Whether it’s a tougher cabinet design, a sharper display face or a smarter integration feature, we’re always looking to offer the best displays for our customers’ needs.

Although this innovation takes place at our offices here in South Dakota, it’s driven by our customers across the country who are constantly finding new ways to apply LED technology to enhance the rail platform experience.

A few days ago, I stumbled upon an interesting post by New York Magazine which discussed the psychological effects of subway countdown clocks.

According to the article, showing the countdown is enhancing the rail riders’ experience. Why? Because – even though we all enjoy a little mystery sometimes – when it comes to transportation, we all like to have our expectations set. Thanks to our hectic schedules and packed agendas, we like to know exactly what is going on at any given moment (which is also why none of us can ride the subway without the companionship of our cell phones). Even if the train is going to be late, we’d rather know that for sure than to play the guessing game on the platform. It’s simply less stressful.

I’d like to take this application one step further. Besides showing the amount of time before a rail vehicle arrives, these displays could also provide the reasons why they are late. In addition, tri-color messaging (red, green or amber text) can more clearly communicate the train’s status for the people on the platform.

While enhancing the rail rider’s experience is the foremost objective, these platform displays need to be extremely tough. They are literally and figuratively the visible face of the transit authority. With millions of people relying on our mass transit systems to get to and from work every day, dependability and longevity are more important than ever. This is exactly what’s on our minds as we continue to meet innovations with new applications in the mass transit market.

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