People helping people as they get from here to there

What you said: Should we share news of 5-minute-lateness? [yes]

November 29th, 2007  |  Published in community updates

Recently, we asked the Montclair line riders: “is there value in having clever commuters share ‘the-train-is-5-min-late’ messages?
…If they are broadcast over the PA at the stations?
…If they are not?

36 people replied…and here is what we heard from them:

  • 24 people clearly in favor
  • 5 people clearly against
  • For 7 others, it was not clear to me what their position was…or the were writing to say they did not feel strongly.

So…This should not really be interpreted as a mandate to write more alerts…but rather a reminder that we each have different tolerance for information…and to simply be sensitive to that.

Here are some of the quotes from the feedback we received:

Pro (in favor of sharing [and receiving] this info)

  • I think it’s of value – it’s great to know you have a community out there supporting you.
  • no harm is done
  • I see commuting as a game (and a necessary evil)…any advantage you have to winning the game (ie making your commute as painless as possible) is worth it.
  • I believe the usefulness of knowing that you have a “5 minutes late” cushion outweighs the nuisance of deleting many emails.
  • If the emails are sent out promptly it helps. I was able to stop running to catch the train. It was awesome.
  • I think they are very helpful – particularly from the origination or up-line stations – when you are running late, it gives you hope.
  • If you’re not running late, you tune out. If you are, five minutes of hope can spur you forward.
  • Any lateness info is helpful to me.
  • I don’t mind the extra info as long as it’s on point
  • If I am so tight for time that five minutes helps
  • I like those messages and do not believe that they are overkill.
  • I think that if people were posting that the train is 2 minutes late, it would be ridiculous, but five minute late warnings are extremely useful. Honestly, I think this is a huge non-issue.
  • I can’t say it really bothers me or that I would miss it them they weren’t posted. As a recent convert to the train from the 44/88 DeCamp bus, the delays with NJT appear trivial – probably jinxing myself now! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I would prefer to see these late notices even if they are announced by NJT. Sometimes the announcements are made before I get to the platform and they are also not always crystal clear coming over the platform speakers.
  • I’d rather get the extra notifications and address it when it becomes a bigger issue.
  • Anything a commuter says is probably more valuable on the ground information and I appreciate knowing if I have an extra 5 minutes, any day.
  • I think that there is value in these kind of messages in giving us an overall picture of what is going on out there. That’s what makes these lists so great for those of us who decide between various commuting options daily.
  • I think the amount of messages isn’t so great that this is a problem and yes, getting those warnings is helpful for those of us who run to catch the train at night.
  • I think it’s valuable.
  • Information is king. Any nugget of accurate intel can be of use and importance to one of us, but please reiterate the need for smart,judicious info.
  • Yes, please. When you are racing across town, cutting it tight, and the lights aren’t going your way, it is very helpful to know if you still stand a chance…
  • There’s no telling when you need this info. So I say YES pls tell me when a train is late.
  • I’m a fan of those messages during peak rush times. I wholeheartedly agree with your point – those 5 minutes are like an eternity in the morning.
  • I think it’s of value – it’s great to know you have a community out there supporting you.

Con

  • I believe +/- 5 minutes is a fact of life and that too many e:Mails devalues the system
  • For me a message that a train is running 5 minutes late is not very helpful — if I am running late myself, the chances that I would see that message in time for it to make a difference for me are pretty slim. I also agree that +/- 5 minutes is just a part of life and is not really worth noting.
  • The email service works well, but I actually find these emails about minor delays quite annoying.
  • I do not need to know if a train is running a few minutes late, nor do I care about lost articles of clothing, how traffic is doing at noon, train has yet to be posted, etc
  • There is no value in 5 minutes late for train whether on inbound or outbound trains. As most get to the station within that time period to see if passengers remain on the platform

In between

  • I can’t say it really bothers me or that I would miss it them they weren’t posted. As a recent convert to the train from the 44/88 DeCamp bus, the delays with NJT appear trivial – probably jinxing myself now! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • The train is 5 mins late is very valuable for me going home. don’t really care about it in AM. Bottom line is those emails don’t bother me.
  • To me, the 5-minutes-late messages are very valuable in the evening when I am rushing to catch my train, but not valuable at all in the morning when I am already standing on the platform in Montclair .
  • On outbound it may help if a person is running late and can make the station in time for a train but otherwise, it is senseless because it is such a small period of time.
  • I don’t think these messages are useful in the morning. It is occassionally useful to know this type of info in the evening at NYPenn.
  • I find that the “6:18 is running 10 minutes late” is ย very helpful in the evening when approaching Penn Station. If I am running late, I choose between walk, subway or cab. It does not matter to me in the morning, as I get to the station the same way regardless of time or lateness.
  • Notification from riders on delays when NJ Transit does not broadcast them are probably slightly more valuable.
  • Maybe I’ve been doing this too long, but I don’t consider + 5 min to be late.

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