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T Conductors to Get Real Time Info in Their Hands

A new device will be distributed to conductors on MBTA conductors.

A new pilot program dubbed “Conductor Companion” is being unveiled on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s commuter rail system, putting complete details about train services across the system in the conductors' hands.

The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company, the contractor that runs the commuter railroad for the MBTA, made the announcement on Monday.

The mobile application will allow conductors on the MBTA commuter rail system to receive real-time information about service for the first time.

MBCR is funding the project, the total cost of which was not announced.

The project will provide 24 conductors with specialized mobile devices – essentially modified iPhones - programmed with MBCR’s “Conductor Companion” application. At first, it will go to 12 conductors on service traveling to and from North Station and 12 working on trains traveling to and from South Station, including Westborough.

Massachusetts-based mobile firm Raizlabs developed the technology.

The real-time service information available to conductors will include the speed, exact location and track assignment of every train on the commuter rail system.

The pilot program will run for 90 days. During that time, both conductors and riders will be asked to provide feedback to MBCR about their experience. Later this year, MBCR plans to unveil “Conductor Companion” for more than 200 other conductors.

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