Countdown clocks leave frustrated riders wanting more

The MBTA has activated countdown clocks at 30 subway stations.


The MBTA has activated countdown clocks at 30 subway stations.

We are more than a decade into the 21st century, and the MBTA is just figuring out that customer satisfaction increases when you provide information (“T riders prove happier when they’re in the know,” Page A1, Jan. 23)? Other transit systems have had something like countdown clocks for years.

What’s more, other systems don’t let people sit on trains that suddenly come to a stop in a tunnel without explaining the delay and making sure the speakers work. Other systems would never have operators use public transit jargon in announcements. Time and again, while riding on the Green Line, I hear that we’re standing by “for headway adjustment.” I know what this means — recalibrating the time between trains — but it wouldn’t surprise me if many other riders assumed that there’s something wrong mechanically with the front part of the train.


Riders on the T are like customers in a restaurant. We are forgiving if we’re treated respectfully. Telling riders why they’re not moving can go a long way toward alleviating frustration with the T.

Scott Cooper

Newton Highlands

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