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‘Next stop is..’: a case of too much information?

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Southern Railway has introduced value additions to improve the travelling experience of suburban commuters. But, some of them end up causing stress to the intended beneficiaries. The automatic GPS-enabled station announcement system inside some coaches of trains is one such facility.

The compartments have both wall-mounted LED display panels and speakers that announce the names of approaching stations. The announcements – in Tamil, Hindi and English — are especially useful to commuters new to the suburban train network in the city as well as those who do not know Tamil.

However, during the late evening hours, the announcements come across as loud and intrusive to commuters, especially since there is no mechanism to reduce the volume. “Many commuters spend close to two hours on trains. The announcements inside the compartments are so loud that it adds to the stress levels after a long day’s work,” says G. Raghu Prakash, a commuter.

Motormen of suburban trains say they can switch off the fans and lights after trains reach their terminating stations, but the volume on the public address system can be adjusted only in Electric Multiple Unit car sheds – at Tambaram or Velachery for instance.

On the MRTS route too, commuters at times are taken by surprise as the name of the Mundagakanni Amman Temple is yet to be integrated into the announcement system. Once the train leaves Thirumailai, the next station is announced as Light House, instead of Mundagakanni Amman Temple. Southern Railway officials say an engineering crew is working to fix the problem.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 7:49:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-columns/next-stop-is-a-case-of-too-much-information/article6673691.ece

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