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METRORAIL

Web Lets Riders See Train Times From Afar

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By Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 3, 2006

Tired of rushing to the Metro station only to see your train pulling away and the platform sign saying the next one is in 12 minutes? Good news.

Riders will now be able to find out when trains are arriving at stations before hoofing it to the platform. A new Metro technology provides real-time information on computers and Web-enabled wireless devices, such as BlackBerries and cellphones.

Customers have long sought access to such information, especially during off-peak travel periods when trains run less frequently or when they are delayed by track maintenance.

"Having this information available over the Internet and through wireless devices makes everyday life easier and more convenient for Metrorail riders," said Dan Tangherlini, Metro's interim general manager.

Computer users can get train information by going to Metro's Web site at http://www.metroopensdoors.com/ , clicking on the "Maps and stations" tab in the upper-left corner and then on "Find a stop/station." Choose a station and click on "Next train arrival" to get arrival times of the next three trains headed in each direction. The page refreshes every 30 seconds.

A check of the system yesterday from the platform at Farragut North showed that the posted schedules were in sync with those on the Web.

To access train arrival information through a BlackBerry or other Web-enabled device, go to http://wmata.com/mobile and select "Next train information." Riders can choose a station by clicking on its first letter, then clicking to the appropriate station to get arrival times for the next three trains.

Metro is also testing real-time customer information for seven Metrobus routes. Riders will be able to find out when the next four buses will arrive at some stops on the 9A and 9E routes in Virginia, the F4 and F6 in Maryland and the 90, 92 and 93 in the District. The information is accessible via computer or a hand-held wireless device at http://wmata.nextbus.com/wmata .


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