Monday, June 18, 2007

Colored LEDs in Metro Stations

So I'm sure you've seen the red lights on the station platforms by now. Or perhaps you've spotted the orange ones. Here's my take on it.

The first time I saw it was at Gallery Place/Chinatown on the Red Line. I didn't know why they were doing it, because, as Metro is wont to do, they didn't inform their riders as to what's going on ahead of time. I honestly thought they made it red because it was the Red Line. However, I thought "Gee, I hope they don't keep this change. It's adding a red glow to everything and the blinking red lights are disturbing." It was making me feel uneasy and uncomfortable, which is a bad vibe to be giving off in an area that is prone to crowding at times. (A stampede would be too easy to trigger.)

And then I saw orange lights at a platform with orange & blue line trains. Or perhaps it was yellow lights at a platform with yellow and green line trains. Either way, I found myself wondering if the color would change depending on what train was coming.

And then I found out that, no, the color is the same and they're putting in red lights regardless of the line.

Which I think is stupid. Thank god for the improved signage, because even *I* would get confused as to how to get to what platform for what train. And the improved signage is IMPROVED, not optimal. It's STILL confusing.

So, yeah, if I saw red lights and I was a tourist, I would assume that I was on the red line. Red line, red lights, makes sense, right?

I think either Metro needs to drop the whole colored lights thing (it's not Christmas, you know) and go with clear LEDs (if in fact they are LEDs that they changed to for more efficient lights) or they need to put the color of the line that you're currently on. For platforms that serve more than one color line, put in LEDs of both and have it blink the color of the train that's arriving.

That's what *I'd* do if I was in charge.

Your thoughts?

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