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Bronx scores subway clocks

Tick, tock, it don’t stop. Subway countdown clocks are on test at five stations in the Bronx. The clocks, operational underground at the Brook Avenue, Cypress Avenue, E. 143rd Street – St. Mary’s Street, E. 149th Street and Longwood #6 IRT Pelham Bay line stations, display the number of minutes before the next two trains arrive and additional transit information, such as messages about delays.

“[The clocks] are convenient,” Cypress Avenue straphanger Luis Bello, 17, said. “Even before I swipe my MetroCard I can check. I can go buy food and come back to catch the train.”

The clocks, installed outside the turnstiles and on the platforms, boast speakers that announce train times out loud. The clocks have been installed in several more 6 IRT stations in the Bronx but remain non-operational. New York City Transit plans to install the clocks at 152 stations around the city in the next year. The clocks were first installed on the L line IRT in 2007.

Cypress Avenue straphanger Ciera Romero, 17, was pleasantly surprised when the clocks appeared in her neighborhood station, in other respects poorly maintained compared to many Manhattan stations.

“The clocks are helpful,” Romero said. “I know when I’m going to be on time.”

Cypress Avenue straphanger Mark Dow, on his way to work, asked NYC Transit to add the signs to more stations, fast.

“The clocks are alright,” Dow said. “You don’t sit and wait, wait, wait.”

Shu Man Yiu agreed.

“The trains here are infrequent,” she said. “I like to know how long I need to wait.”

NYC Transit President Thomas Pendergast called the clocks “a quantum leap forward” in customer communications. But NYC Transit declined to comment on which stations will add operational clocks next.

Cypress Avenue straphanger Shykor Benjudah hates the clocks. He finds the audio difficult to understand.

“I think they’re stupid,” Benjudah said.

Reach reporter Daniel Beekman at 718 7432-3383 or dbeekman@cnglocal.com

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