METRO Installs Safety Alerts for Oncoming Trains

Houston's METRO system is in the testing phase of a new safety tool to alert pedestrians of an oncoming train.

It's called "BPAS," a Bluetooth-based pedestrian alert system.

When the train approaches intersections, it will play a recording that warns, "Caution.  METRO Rail approaching." 

New speakers work with the help of Bluetooth beacon technology that is installed on the trains.

They are installed at the intersections of Main Street at Lamar Street as well as Fannin Street at Sunset Street. Beacons will be installed at two more locations. The new tool is being tested as part of a partnership with Texas A & M Transportation Institute.

The pilot program was announced in conjunction with National Rail Safety Awareness Week.

"We are excited to see this innovation and look forward to evaluating it along our system. This board is committed to approving the funds to improve safety along our rail lines," METRO Chair Carrin Patman said.

Additionally, METRO is making changes to improve rail and bus safety.

Along the rail lines, crosswalks painted red increase visibility, new fencing create safety barriers and more warning signs on platforms, trains and at intersections remind pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to be alert.

METRO is also delivering safety messages right to your phone via text messaging, social media pages and on the digital displays at the front of every bus.

As the list of enhancements made just this year grows, METRO President and CEO, Tom Lambert says there is more to come.

"Safety is our top priority, and this is an all hands on deck approach. Our staff is working closely with stakeholders on several dozen initiatives. So the public should expect to see a continued roll out of improvements," said Lambert.

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