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Incorrectly Programmed Destination Signs

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Has anyone noticed some incorrectly programmed destination signs lately? I've noticed a few on many of our busses, complete mistakes or just small errors:

For example:

47 47th/TH st..........: um, obvious here

93 N California/ 93 to HOWARD/KED is displayed on ALL northbound route 93 runs operated with a 1000 series or 5800 series that is equipped with an amber destination sign. However, some of them the side sign displays the correct info, which should be "93 N Calif/Dodge /93 to DAVIS PURPLE L"

201 CHICAGO AVE to HOWARD RED L: last time I checked the route was 201 CENTRAL/RIDGE

anyone notice others?

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Has anyone noticed some incorrectly programmed destination signs lately? I've noticed a few on many of our busses, complete mistakes or just small errors:

For example:

47 47th/TH st..........: um, obvious here

93 N California/ 93 to HOWARD/KED is displayed on ALL northbound route 93 runs operated with a 1000 series or 5800 series that is equipped with an amber destination sign. However, some of them the side sign displays the correct info, which should be "93 N Calif/Dodge /93 to DAVIS PURPLE L"

201 CHICAGO AVE to HOWARD RED L: last time I checked the route was 201 CENTRAL/RIDGE

anyone notice others?

I'd see some like this:

119/MICH/119/ST. And 119 MICH./119TH (On 6000's)

119 MICH/119 (On 4400's & 5300's)

X28 STONY ISL. EXP.

9 ASHLAND-95TH

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93 N California/ 93 to HOWARD/KED is displayed on ALL northbound route 93 runs operated with a 1000 series or 5800 series that is equipped with an amber destination sign. However, some of them the side sign displays the correct info, which should be "93 N Calif/Dodge /93 to DAVIS PURPLE L"

201 CHICAGO AVE to HOWARD RED L: last time I checked the route was 201 CENTRAL/RIDGE

Both of these are remnants from when the routes actually went there, and the signs were apparently never properly reprogrammed. However, I don't understand why the front and side signs wouldn't match. It also appears that an old computer file is being used to load a new bus's sign. I don't know if the same file can be used to load both the flip dot and LED signs.

Both of these will be cured in the contingency plan (more correctly, rendered moot). B)

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I saw a sign on #1359 yesterday that said "#66 DVIERSEY TO PULASKI" (yes, the sign spelled "Diversey" wrong). It was on the #76, and I also rode it. When the bus got to Pulaski (it was a short-turn run), the sign changed to "GARAGE...PUL/CHI". Geez, #1359's sign was really screwed up. Think it's in maintence today ;) .

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I saw a sign on #1359 yesterday that said "#66 DVIERSEY TO PULASKI" (yes, the sign spelled "Diversey" wrong). It was on the #76, and I also rode it.

Yea, alot of buses do that.

Riding a 6000 on #9, instead of saying IRVING PARK, it says: IRVNIG PARK.

O.o

*coughidontthinkthebusdriversnoticethiscough*

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*coughidontthinkthebusdriversnoticethiscough*

idontthinkthebusdrivershavemuchofachoice.

Yesterday, I saw 8 8 to ORANGE LINE

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idontthinkthebusdrivershavemuchofachoice.
They sure don't as, according to rmadisonwi, the Clever Devices panel overrides any manual input into the newer CTA signs, and according to Pace Govt. Affairs, its signs are governed by the IBS (a consistent result).

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Has anyone seen the #22 Clark sign on the New Flyer 1000's, it comes out as:

22 CLARK HOWARD/ (flip) 22 RED LINE, just like the #156 LaSalle signs use to be when they said:

156 LASALLE BELMONT/ (flip) 156 HALSTED.

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Has anyone seen the #22 Clark sign on the New Flyer 1000's, it comes out as:

22 CLARK HOWARD/ (flip) 22 RED LINE, just like the #156 LaSalle signs use to be when they said:

156 LASALLE BELMONT/ (flip) 156 HALSTED.

I've noticed this but North Park has only about 20 New Flyers (1000) in service and about 160 TMCs. This is a problem, but that not as big a problem as it will be later on. For now, 4400s rule the streets!

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Has anyone seen the #22 Clark sign on the New Flyer 1000's, it comes out as: 22 CLARK HOWARD/ (flip) 22 RED LINE, just like the #156 LaSalle signs use to be when they said:156 LASALLE BELMONT/ (flip) 156 HALSTED.

Actually I have seen those. I guess the guy who likes incorrectly programming signs or just creating "new routes" is still on the job and didn't get the memo when they fixed the 151 and 156 signs on the routes out of Kedzie (after it was brought up here !!!!).

But then, to bring up an old topic and rant, I still feel that the electronic signs are terrible when it comes to giving true destination (ie. Dear/Kinz or How/Ked) and will always be a proponet for the return of the curtain style of sign (which will never happen) which seemed a little more accurate.

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What's frustrating is that the newer LED destination signs allow for much greater flexibility in using two-line readings, fonts in different sizes, etc., yet some operators like CTA and Boston's MBTA still use the same old abbreviated destination readings on their newer buses.

I like the style of destination readings used by Toronto, Connecticut Transit and others - full-height route number, route name in larger bolded font, and destination/intermediate point reading in slightly smaller font. The bottom reading may change as needed, but the route number and name are always constant. To use a CTA example, a southbound route 60 bus could display the following sign:

60 BLUE ISLAND / 26TH

............TO 24TH PLACE-CICERO

My $.02, for what it's worth.

Jim

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60 BLUE ISLAND / 26TH

............TO 24TH PLACE-CICERO

My $.02, for what it's worth.

Jim

I think that would be outstanding, if at least not more accurate than some of the nonsense we see out there now. Not only that, it would eliminate all of the unnecessary flipping.

And I think that is worth a million, not 2 cents !!!! Can anyone pass this on to the "geniuses" on Lake Street !!!!

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Jim, supposedly there was an issue regarding whether the two-line signs complied with the ADA, when the transit authorities went from the flip dot signs to the orange LED ones. Canada is subject to separate rules but Connecticut would not be. We had that discussion in connection with comparing 2 line signs on Pace Orion VIs (large flip dots) and the later NABIs (LED), but never really resolved it. We did note that Pace has tended to eliminate its 2 line signs, although a few still persist (such as on 272).

CTA used to say that the route appeared on the first sign and the destination on the second. Trainman may be relying on that rule, but CTA might no longer be. As far as the 22 example, I would have no problem with 22 Clark/Howard {flip}22 Red Line as better spacing the information that 22 Clark{flip}22 Howard/Red L, although the slash after Howard on the current sign indicates that it is a mistake. 156 LaSalle-Belmont/ {flip}Halsted was more obviously incorrect, since the destination was Belmont-Halsted.

For those on the inside, how much of this is a result of converting files for old style flip dot, Twinvision flip dot and LED, and Luminator LED signs?

On a related note, I think that the Red Line legend is superfluous on 22, since Clark is not a feeder to the Red Line, but runs parallel to it. (A similar inconsistency is that the last I knew, 55 and 63 were to Midway Station, while 59 was to Orange Line, but, again, all three run in the same direction as the train, and are not feeders like 55A, 55N, 63W, and the like).

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Jim, supposedly there was an issue regarding whether the two-line signs complied with the ADA, when the transit authorities went from the flip dot signs to the orange LED ones. Canada is subject to separate rules but Connecticut would not be. We had that discussion in connection with comparing 2 line signs on Pace Orion VIs (large flip dots) and the later NABIs (LED), but never really resolved it. We did note that Pace has tended to eliminate its 2 line signs, although a few still persist (such as on 272).

CTA used to say that the route appeared on the first sign and the destination on the second. Trainman may be relying on that rule, but CTA might no longer be. As far as the 22 example, I would have no problem with 22 Clark/Howard {flip}22 Red Line as better spacing the information that 22 Clark{flip}22 Howard/Red L, although the slash after Howard on the current sign indicates that it is a mistake. 156 LaSalle-Belmont/ {flip}Halsted was more obviously incorrect, since the destination was Belmont-Halsted.

For those on the inside, how much of this is a result of converting files for old style flip dot, Twinvision flip dot and LED, and Luminator LED signs?

On a related note, I think that the Red Line legend is superfluous on 22, since Clark is not a feeder to the Red Line, but runs parallel to it. (A similar inconsistency is that the last I knew, 55 and 63 were to Midway Station, while 59 was to Orange Line, but, again, all three run in the same direction as the train, and are not feeders like 55A, 55N, 63W, and the like).

For many years the CTA #68 Northwest Highway displayed 'Park Ridge CNW" CNW of course being the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad which was bought out in 1995 by the Union Pacific Railroad. Until this year the route signage was finally changed to "Park Ridge Metra" I liked it having "CNW" still displayed.

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Jim, supposedly there was an issue regarding whether the two-line signs complied with the ADA, when the transit authorities went from the flip dot signs to the orange LED ones. Canada is subject to separate rules but Connecticut would not be. We had that discussion in connection with comparing 2 line signs on Pace Orion VIs (large flip dots) and the later NABIs (LED), but never really resolved it. We did note that Pace has tended to eliminate its 2 line signs, although a few still persist (such as on 272).

That's the first I've heard of this being an issue. As info, Connecticut Transit's new D40LF's have the same two-line LED readings, and new Orion VII's in New York City and San Francisco and the Gillig hybrids here in Syracuse still have two-line readings as well.

Jim

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93 N California/ 93 to HOWARD/KED is displayed on ALL northbound route 93 runs operated with a 1000 series or 5800 series that is equipped with an amber destination sign. However, some of them the side sign displays the correct info, which should be "93 N Calif/Dodge /93 to DAVIS PURPLE L"

Interesting... I noticed this on a Saturday not too long ago, and a freind who rides the 93 every day said that the Saturday runs didn't go to Evanston any more. I didn't think that sounded right.

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What's frustrating is that the newer LED destination signs allow for much greater flexibility in using two-line readings, fonts in different sizes, etc., yet some operators like CTA and Boston's MBTA still use the same old abbreviated destination readings on their newer buses.

What's even more annoying at CTA is that they generally put "TO" on the first reading - the route - instead of the second, the destination. For example:

88 HIGGINS TO

88 CANFIELD

leading an unfamiliar customer who only gets a glimpse of the sign to believe it runs on Canfield.

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For many years the CTA #68 Northwest Highway displayed 'Park Ridge CNW" CNW of course being the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad which was bought out in 1995 by the Union Pacific Railroad. Until this year the route signage was finally changed to "Park Ridge Metra" I liked it having "CNW" still displayed.

I liked CNW, too, but it makes more sense that it's up to date. I'm sure there are a lot of riders who don't know what CNW means.

"NorthWestHyWy" on the new reading looks ridiculous, though, especially since southbound buses still read "NW HIGHWAY"

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Actually I have seen those. I guess the guy who likes incorrectly programming signs or just creating "new routes" is still on the job and didn't get the memo when they fixed the 151 and 156 signs on the routes out of Kedzie (after it was brought up here !!!!).

But then, to bring up an old topic and rant, I still feel that the electronic signs are terrible when it comes to giving true destination (ie. Dear/Kinz or How/Ked) and will always be a proponet for the return of the curtain style of sign (which will never happen) which seemed a little more accurate.

The 151/156 signs were fixed after I sent a note to the guy at south shops that does the programming some time last summer. There are other signs where similar problems exist, such as those noted on the #22 Clark Howard...etc. My guess is that this is a result of whatever data conversion was done to get the signs programmed into the new Luminator Horizon (LED) format from whatever previous format they were in. I'm told there are something like nine different destination sign programs out there, which makes sense considering that the TMCs and some of the Flxibles have the Vultron TransDOT, some Flxibles have an older Luminator, some buses have Twin Vision, etc. Keeping all of the programs straight can be a hassle. I've never seen the destination sign software used on some of these sign types, so I don't know how they work.

As incorrect signs are noticed, the info gets passed on and eventually they are corrected.

As for the discussion regarding two-lined signs, some new signs on the #11 line (such as to Western Brown Line and for trips that turn at Fullerton/Halsted) use two lines on the New Flyer (1000) signs.

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As incorrect signs are noticed, the info gets passed on and eventually they are corrected.

As for the discussion regarding two-lined signs, some new signs on the #11 line (such as to Western Brown Line and for trips that turn at Fullerton/Halsted) use two lines on the New Flyer (1000) signs.

I think I speak for a number of people in thanking you for passing the info on to those who can make corrections. I just don't understand why someone on the inside would not be catching this stuff. Again, I guess it would speak tons as to the difference of a politician running the show versus someone who knows something (Metra is full of em too).

As for the double lined signs, this would imply that the double lines are not an ADA issue, since they are being used in some cases. So, is it a possibility that some day we may see more accurate double lined destination signs out there on the newer buses, and if not, what would be the "executive" explanation as to why this current joke of abbreviations is better ???? I think Railbus63's example is outstanding.

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Here is a shot of one of Centro's 2007 Gillig hybrids in Syracuse with the two-line destination reading:

156320619-M.jpg

One of CT Transit's New Flyer D40LF's in Hartford - the route appears in larger font on the top line:

198835392-M.jpg

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I just don't understand why someone on the inside would not be catching this stuff.

What I have noticed, in working with two transit systems, speaking with those that work for others, and what I know of human nature in general is that the tendency is for people to not notice stuff. Those that do notice stuff tend to assume that "they already know about it" or otherwise haven't a clue about how to get the note to the correct person/people to fix something. That, or they really don't care enough to bother with the effort of informing someone.

I'm sure you'll find situations like that at any company, organization, group, etc.

The guy that does destination signs is also responsible for a couple of other things in the maintenance department, and probably only looks at the programming for a specific sign when it's brought to his attention. My hypothesis is that the current signs were all converted from a previous program, and with the hundreds of display codes and (potentially) thousands of individual lines, going through each one was probably too time-consuming given that 95% or more of them were correctly converted.

As the older stuff gets retired and newer buses get delivered, the number of sign types will be reduced and that will make the job of programming them a lot easier.

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A smart man told me years ago 'Your boss's priorities are your priorities'.

If having correctly-worded, intelligent destination readings was important to CTA upper management, it would be done.

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The guy that does destination signs is also responsible for a couple of other things in the maintenance department, and probably only looks at the programming for a specific sign when it's brought to his attention.

The way I see it, the guy programming the destination signs is only entering what he is told to enter. A computer is only as smart as the person programming it. That said, there has to be someone who is listing how something should be programmed. That is the person who should be in the bread line...or at least shown how poor some of his ideas are. For all the good these electronic signs are suppose to be, I would be willing to bet 20-30% are not working at all and another 10-15% have incorrect information (see post on route 84 ending at "Caldwell", which is really Cicero/Edens Expy,when it should be Caldwell/Central) or abbreviated 1/2 sentences (Dear/Kinz or Howard/Ked). When I see this stuff, I long for the curtains. At worst, I was going to East Terminal or West Terminal instead of puzzled streets or no place at all.

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My guess is that this is a result of whatever data conversion was done to get the signs programmed into the new Luminator Horizon (LED) format from whatever previous format they were in. I'm told there are something like nine different destination sign programs out there, which makes sense considering that the TMCs and some of the Flxibles have the Vultron TransDOT, some Flxibles have an older Luminator, some buses have Twin Vision, etc.

Thanks for shedding some light on this. Another question: While I understand why one doesn't buy the 1991 type signs anymore, why did CTA switch from Twinvision to Luminator? It seems like the Twinvision ones have a larger choice of fonts and use lower case letters better, and thus are more readable.

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