What a concept! [sarcasm]
The MTA has finally decided to outfit the old trains in the system with speakers mounted on the outside [Daily News] of the trains. That way, people outside the train can hear the announcements while standing on the platform.
I think we’ve all been in the situation where we’ve boarded a train only to realize that it is going to skip some stops. By then, it’s too late because the doors have already closed.
On those days where service is all f-ed up, these external speakers will come in handy. Since you can never rely on the MTA to make timely announcements over the platform PA system, at least you will be able to hear announcements from the trains when they are in the station.
They are also exploring using goose neck microphones so that you can actually hear the announcements. On most of the trains, the mic is build into the control panel or mounted in a box on the window frame where the conductor leans out. So, their mouths are never anywhere near the mics. Even if they are, many of the mics are old and faulty.
I think it would be much better if all the trains had recorded announcements, but one thing at a time I guess.
(Thanks to SUBWAYblogger reader Lee for the tip.)