I continue to hear gripes about the real time system for trains and buses and this post isn’t so much relating to what exists today and its issues but looking at ideas for after AT actually get it working reliably. Its probably a case of once you starting getting some real time crumbs you start to want more. So here are a couple of examples:
At Henderson the only way you can access the station by using the concourse from Railside Ave to the complex of buildings that houses Auckland Transport. I was there today to give my submission on the RPTP and afterwards was planning on catching the train home. Trains being only half hourly I wanted to know if one were about to arrive or if I would have time to go to next door to the neighbouring mall to get some lunch. The last thing I wanted to to go and get some lunch then see a train pulling away as I approached leaving me with another half hour to wait. The problem is the only place where any train information can be found is halfway down the platform which means someone has to spend extra time to get down there and back again. The good thing is the solution is really simple, a display on the concourse itself would easily solve this.
Another location I have been thinking about is perhaps a bit different. Outside many stations there is a plinth to advertise the location of a station, like the one below. These are incredibly useful for perhaps people who aren’t local or who are catching the train for the first time but why could they not also be transformed to be useful for everyone. A simple display (but large enough to be read by people driving past) could just show the time to the next train. Where this would be useful is for people who are still making their way to the station and could alert them that if they want to make the next train then they will need to hurry. Conversely if you see it saying your train is 5 minutes away you know you can take your time. The whole point is just to help better inform people as there is absolutely nothing worse that being say 100m from a station and seeing the train you had planned to catch just turning up. The interesting thing with this idea is that AT are going to have to replace these structures anyway due to the phasing out of the MAXX brand.
Where else would you like to see the real time system expanded to? (providing it can be made to work right)