Metra awards contract to replace its tracking system

Metra, the rail commuter operator in Chicago metropolitan area approved the contract with Clever Devices Ltd. A USD 26.7 million contract to replace its old GPS tracking and passenger announcement system with a modern system that will also include a test of automatic passenger counting technology.
The system will be used to track train movement, report a train’s adherence to the schedule, make onboard and platform announcements, send digital information to onboard and platform signs, and communicate operational changes and alerts to customers. It will entail a new communication network with a complete replacement of all hardware, including computers, GPS units, modems and other components that are no longer supported or past their useful life or capacity.
The new system will carry out a variety of tasks that are now handled by two separate systems, one that was installed in 2006 and the other in 2010.
Under the contract, a test on 11 cars of an automatic passenger counting system will be delivered that uses cameras in the entrances. If the test is successful, Metra would have to decide whether it wanted to expand the system to replace or supplement its current manual counting of riders at stations.

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