Stay Informed

Steve's News from Annapolis regarding Light Rail System Improvem

2014-05-07

Dear Friends,

For all who use the light rail system, I wanted to share information I received from the Maryland Transit Administration regarding system improvements.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,

Steve

May 2, 2014

Dear Elected Officials,

I am contacting to let you know that later this month the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will implement the Next Train Arrival system on its Light Rail Line.  This is a major new initiative that will significantly benefit our customers by providing them with real-time train information using three distinct delivery methods:  LED Platform Signs, communication with mobile devices such as smartphones and full Website desktop functionality.  One of the most requested items from customers, the Next Train Arrival technology is part of the MTA’s Transit Modernization Program - an all-inclusive strategic effort to improve public transit throughout the state. 

The $1.1 million system includes the installation of GPS antennas, cellular modems, specialized software and computers on all 54 Light Rail Vehicles.  Much like a car navigation system or the Google Navigation App, the Next Train Arrival system uses GPS coordinates to predict a train’s arrival time for each of the Light Rail vehicle’s destination routes:  Hunt Valley, Timonium Fairgrounds, North Avenue, Camden Yards, Penn Station, Cromwell and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.

In addition to the LED display signs at all station platforms that will display the train’s final station destination (route) and arrival time for the next 2 closest trains to the station, the mobile website, specifically engineered for smartphones, will be viewable with any operating system including Android, Apple, Windows and Blackberry, as well as tablet browsers.  Riders will be able to select their specific station origin and destination and receive real-time information for up to the next 4 trains arriving at the selected station.  The MTA will also be providing two new ways to view live trains using a simple schematic map or a Google map.  Touch a station or a moving train on the map and real-time information pops up.   The same features found on the mobile site will also be available on the full website at www.myMTAtracker.com .

As we get closer to the rollout date for Next Train Arrival, MTA will conduct an extensive public outreach and information campaign in local news media and on MTA’s website at www.mta.maryland.gov.