Wednesday, February 27, 2008

More CalTrain Sign Ideas

An anonymous commenter on my last post on CalTrain's electronic signs's notes:

I would be much happier if, when a train pulled up, the sign told you what train it was. It's easy to miss the little numbers at the front and when trains are late, you still may want to make sure you catch an express rather than a local.

Absolutely!

Pretty much, it'd be the equivalent of BART's station signs telling you which terminal a train is going to, just in CalTrain's case you'd be finding out which stops a train was making.

Also: it would be very handy if the signs would give a heads up about how many bike cars there are going to be. With a little advanced warning about a second bike car, us CalTrain bike riders would happily divvy ourselves up into two parts of the platform.

It would get us all on the train, and everyone underway, a bit faster than the current system of conductors coming out to tell us about a second bike car--usually not until most of us are already loaded, so there's really no time savings for the last few stragglers to huff it halfway down the length of the train.

Of course, none of this has to be done with fancy-schmancy electronic platform signs--actual physical signs hung in the windows of the train would do the trick too!

4 comments:

Fritz said...

On the gallery cars there's already a "sign out the window" -- the bike cars are also the car the engineers drive from on NB trains, so they have a mirror sticking out. They're hard to see at night, but now that the days are getting longer you can see the mirrors again.

The Bombardier cars a trickier -- the bike cars on them also have mirrors, but there are also luggage cars equipped with these mirrors. I've been fooled more than a couple of times by these faux bike cars.

295bus said...

That's a good tip about the "accidental bike car signage".

Still, regular signs in side windows, next to doors, like busses and LRVs have, would be quite handy--something you can see after the train has already arrived, instead of requiring you to be hyper observant as it rolls in!

Anonymous said...

Every city bus has such a display. It would be so handy and not that expensive to install! - SK

Fritz said...

Come to think of it, I think the Capitol Corridor train also has LED displays on each car describing which train it is.