April 24, 2013 11 Comments
Over the past few months, a number of screens have been added to the upper level of the 7th Street / Metro Center station. Since the Expo Line opened a year ago, there are now four lines sharing this station, and the screens show departure information for the Blue and Expo Lines (which are on the upper level), and the Red and Purple Lines (on the lower level).
Unfortunately, many of these screens have been added in less-than-useful places or show less-than-useful information.
Take, for example, these two screens that show you departure times on your way out of the station (presumably, after you’ve gotten off of the train), rather than on your way in.
Every day, when I get off the Expo Line and prepare to transfer to the Red Line, I (and a mad rush of commuters) practically run over to the stairs to peer down at the lower level in hopes that my train is not already sitting there, ready to close its doors as I’m stuck in a crowd trying to make my way downstairs. Every day, hanging from the ceiling just above me are two screens, both of which show departure times for Expo Line, which I just got off.
I’ve always thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if that screen showed the Red Line times instead?” Then, I could simply look up and know that my train wouldn’t be leaving for another 4 minutes and I’d have no reason to rush, letting those who did need to hurry tap their cards and get down the stairs before me. I started looking around the station and I realized there are a ton of screens, but they often show riders info for the lines they just got off, rather than the lines they might be going to.
So I decided to map out the screens and try to determine a more useful way to display the same information, just by changing what is on each screen.