The MTA's $200 million plan to install countdown clocks at all numbered train line stations is moving forward, though it's already running slightly behind schedule, the Times reports. By the end of next month, MTA NYC Transit will start the clocks at the Longwood Avenue, Brook Avenue and East 149th Street 6 train stations in the Bronx, but the installation of the timepieces in the remaining 152 numbered stations won't be completed until April 2011 — despite previous reports of a December 2010 finish.
Although count-down clocks are a standard feature in other major transit systems, they are still relatively new to New York. The L train has broadcast arrival times since 2007, and the MTA recently installed real-time train tracking screens at its Myrtle-Wyckoff and Bedford Avenue stations. Meanwhile, a similar clock installation project on the 7 line is running $30 million over-budget and three years late, according to the Times.
The MTA is also planning to install the outdoor countdown clocks on M50 bus shelters along 50th Street, like the timepieces it installed on 34th Street. These clocks won't just tell passengers how long they have to wait for a crosstown ride — they might also "include technology that sends the time of the next bus arrival to a passenger's cellphone and lets riders see exactly where their bus is on a Google map," according to the Post.
The agency maintains that the new clocks will make life easier for commuters. "One of the most stressful parts of the daily commute is not knowing when the next subway or bus will arrive," spokesman Jeremy Soffin told the Daily News. "By providing real-time information we can improve the customer experience." That said, straphangers who rely on lettered train lines won't see the clocks until at least 2014, because such plans are not included in the agency's current proposed capital budget.