Last night my wife and I took the Metromover from the 10th Street Station in Brickell to the Omni Station to check out Mama Mia at the Adrienne Arshet Center. As is usually the case when we ride the Metromover, we had to help several people make sense of the Metromover.

Transit needs to be user-friendly in order for it to work well.  Unfortunately we make it difficult on ourselves when we can’t keep the Metromover maps consistent. The maps at Metromover stations are clearly marked with 3 distinct colors (blue, orange, pink); each color distinguishes the three different routes (Omni, Brickell, and Inner loop).

Metromover station maps are clearly marked with 3 distinct colors (blue, orange, pink) for each route

However, once you enter the Metromover car the colors of the map change completely. The easily distinguishable blue, orange, and pink routes become less discernible shades of grayish/blue. I can’t think of a good reason why we have two different maps; we need to have one easily understood map, not two.

 Maps in the Metromover cars are use different colors; the grayish/blue colors that are less discernable for the transit user.

Maps in the Metromover cars use different colors than station maps; the grayish/blue colors are less discernible for the transit user.

One of our readers, TM Reader, suggested identifying each of the Metromover cars more clearly too.  I’d like to take this good idea a step further. The Metromover cars should be painted blue, orange, or pink to reflect the color of each route.  This would make transit easy to use.

5 Responses to Making the Metromover Easy to Use

  1. mr jones says:

    I think a simple LED display on the front and side of the cars displaying their route would be a good idea (ie: buses), therefore cars are not limited to one route their entire lives (referring to the painting, although, visually would be the best).

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  2. Steve says:

    They do have electronic signs inside and outside of the cars of Metromover stating which route they are taking. The stations also have these signs that light up when a car is approaching stating which route the car is.

    The real question is not if they put the signs up, but if they will maintain the signs so they always work.

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  3. kevin says:

    The grey/blue maps in the trains are completely useless, and I never use them. They don’t indicate the direction of the loop nor is it completely clear which stations it stops and doesn’t stop. It’s too confusing. The maps in the stations, although old looking, are really easy to understand and clear.

    Another problem I see is knowing which train is which loop. I know it says it on the screen on the platform, but many times those screens are burnt out, and are illegible. I like the idea of painting a strip of each loop (pink, orange, and blue) on the trains, that’d be really easy to distinguish, or even installing electronic screens on the sides of the trains that indentify its loop. Easy and simple.

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  4. Jeff says:

    One approach I came up with is the removal of the downtown loop. Before I get flamed let me explain the logic behind the madness. Although I hate to see services be taken away, the three loops seem to be the bulk of the confusion. Additionally, the brickell and omni loops cover the same routes so i find them to be redundant.
    My solution is to convert the downtown loop into an elevated pathway/park, similar to what New York City has, and reverse the flow of one of the other loops to counterclock wise (instead of the now clockwise). I feel that doing so will not only make it easier to find the appropriate train, it will also free up money which can be better allocated elsewhere.
    As for the Miami Avenue station which was serviced by the Downtown loop, I feel that the few people that use that station could just walk to the next station, which is a block away. What do you guys think?

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  5. I think the problem with this proposal is that they deploy cars based on demand and so each car is the same regardless of what loop it is in.

    I agree that it would be nice if the signs pointing out the route of each car were always working. The one time I used the system, I could not tell where the car I stepped on was going, and as it happened it took me to the wrong place :(.

    I think the system needs at least one station with free parking so I could take it all over downtown and not worry about paying for my stay … I would use it a lot more if that was done, and that would probably result in more business for downtown companies.

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