Response to my Auckland Train Signage rant

Well, I received a response from Auckland Transport about my Auckland Train Signage FAIL post. Unfortunately it wasn’t very helpful as they merely (and carefully) explained how the signs are going to work and why they removed the scrolling list of stations:

Thank you for contacting Auckland Transport regarding the new Real Time boards to be installed across the Auckland public transport network.

Your comments were forwarded to the Customer Information team who have provided the following feedback.

The decision to remove the scrolling message underneath the destination information as seen on the current Real Time boards, was made to allow enough room for the next two services to be displayed (rather than just the next one) and moves closer towards emulating a ‘metro’ or ‘national’ style service.

If you look at the bottom of the board, you will see information to explain the abbreviations that may appear on the screen.  These abbreviations will appear next to the destination name to advise the customer which key station the service is travelling via which will also allow customers to identify the line.

For example Papatoetoe/ GI would indicate that this service is travelling to Papatoetoe via Glen Innes on the Eastern Line, or Papatoetoe/ N would indicate that the service is travelling on the Southern line via Newmarket.

I trust his information is of use.

Thank you once again for taking the time to contact us and for your support of Auckland Transport.

Clearly they missed the point of my post which was: JUST PUT THE FRIGGING NAME OF THE LINE IN THE DISPLAY. The signs will be a million times better and you won’t need to add cryptic abbreviations nor require a traveller to have area and train network knowledge to figure out which train to catch.

My response to AT:

Thanks for the response,

Whilst I appreciate that the removal of the scrolling message frees up an additional line for information, I believe that adding /GI or /N, to the name of the terminating station, to indicate the line is counter intuitive and is certainly not in keeping with a ‘metro’ style service.

Surely it would be far better for the signs to read EAST – Papatoetoe or  _SOUTH – Papatoetoe_  (or perhaps EST Papatoetoe or STH Papatoetoe if space is an issue) ?

Using /GI or /N:

a) requires a key so that the user can figure out what the abbreviations mean

b) area knowledge to understand what/where Glenn Innes & Newmarket is

c) knowledge of the rail network to know that you need to take the train that goes via GI if you want the Eastern line and the train that goes via Newmarket if you want the Southern line.

Which is pretty useless for first time travellers and tourists.