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April 24, 2018

Massachusetts improves subway real time information system

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has improved subway arrival predication times on its website and selected smartphone applications.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has improved subway arrival predication times on its website and selected smartphone applications.

This latest improvement to the Rapid Transit Realtime (RTR) system, which provides real-time information to passengers, has been launched for MBTA’s Red, Orange and Blue Lines.

Data-quality upgrades for the Mattapan Trolley and the Green Line were launched in June 2017 and February this year, respectively.

“Technology is a major part of our infrastructure that needs to be upgraded as well.”

Passengers will receive more accurate information on the expected arrival times of trains from the MBTA website and smartphone apps such as Transit.

The real time information system uses smart data to provide more accurate predictions about train arrivals.

Previously, train arrival times were refreshed between 15 to 45 seconds whereas now they are updated every six seconds.

MBTA general manager Luis Manuel Ramírez said: “While our strategy to make capital investments in core infrastructure continues, we must remember that technology is a major part of our infrastructure that needs to be upgraded as well.

“As we strive to improve our customers’ experience, we’re happy to extend improved train prediction times on the Orange, Red, and Blue lines.”

Besides the website, this lower-latency data is currently available through the MBTA’s v3 API.

MBTA is also planning to update feeds for applications served by the v2 API, in-station signage and delay messages over the course of the year.

RTR is also expected to provide accurate predictions during train delays, as well as information on the timing of shuttle buses from stations.

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