Transportation

Metro Tries Out New Safety Technology On The Light Rail Lines

The transit agency says it wants to get riders’ attention before there’s a crash or a near-miss.

Earlier this year, two people were hit and killed by trains just a few days apart. But the close calls are harder to measure. The transit agency has released several videos showing people walking or riding directly into the path of a train.

To try to cut down on those incidents Metro is rolling out a new warning system, developed in conjunction with the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. As for how it works, a bluetooth signal from the train sets off an audible warning at the rail stop. Metro CEO Tom Lambert says they’re trying it out at two locations, Main Street Square and Hermann Park.

“We expect to learn more lessons from this as we look to apply it at additional locations along the corridor,” adds Lambert.

And they may expand the technology in the future according to Metro board member Jim Robinson.

“Are there applications of this that can be put on people’s cellphones?” asks Robinson. “If they had the application on the cellphone and they were a motorist it would warn them the train was nearby.”

Along with the new warning system, Metro says it’s also working on possible design changes at the Hermann Park and Med Center rail stops.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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