Planned Upgrades To Tri-Rail Will Let Passengers Know More About A Train's Status

Nov 28, 2014

Credit Flickr/CreativeCommons/ClearLight.com

The people in charge of Tri-Rail say they want to take the guessing game out of train arrivals and departures.

So they plan to totally revamp the commuter rail's passenger information system.

Tri-Rail officials admit the system they use to inform their passengers about train statuses and delays is woefully out of date.  And younger riders accustomed to social media and up-to-the-minute alerts are driving the need for more real-time information.

So Tri-Rail will spend about $5 million on new technology. The upgrades will include state-of-the-art message boards for train platforms and passenger cars, as well as regular audio announcements.

Tri-Rail spokeswoman Bonnie Arnold says the new system should be up and running by 2016.

"We're hoping to develop a phone app that will give you on-time information; train tracking, in essence," says Arnold. "Because that's what people need to do.  They need to know that information."

The plan also includes wireless internet on Tri-Rail trains and at stations. Right now, WiFi is only available at the Boca Raton station.

Currently, the only way Tri-Rail's 15,000 daily passengers can track their trains is by signing up for e-mail alerts, calling a customer service phone number or checking Tri-Rail's website for updates.