MBTA's Pre-Fare Technology Goes Live, Displays Real-Time Train Status

Photo: Chris Fama / WBZ NewsRadio

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — If you were commuting through Ashmont Station on Tuesday, you may have noticed a glaring difference near the ticket kiosks, namely two large screens displaying real-time information about the trains in service by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

They're called Customer Information Displays, the first of which rolled out on Tuesday to Government Center, Tufts Medical Center, Maverick, Ashmont, and Porter MBTA stations. According to officials, the new technology is dedicated to providing live information about the state of MBTA service outside the fare gates.

MBTA officials say that the location of the CIDs will allow for riders to make the most informed decisions about their commute before committing to one line with the tap of their CharlieCard.

Though WBZ's Chris Fama spoke to a couple on-site MBTA workers who said they hadn't been instructed on how to use the CIDs themselves.

“These new pre-fare CIDs are another excellent tool in our customer information arsenal. Service disruptions or elevator outages are sometimes an inevitability, but with these new digital screens, customers will see in real-time how the issue might affect their trip, and perhaps decide on an alternative way of getting where they’re going," said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.

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CIDs also have the capability to play audio messages detailing updated train reports with a push of a button, a feature added to accommodate blind or low-vision passengers.

The MBTA says they hope to have similar screens installed in the coming months at more stations, and system-wide to every station over the next three years.

WBZ's Chris Fama (@CFamaWBZ) reports.

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