On ST Link trains the sign on the head of the train rolls along “UW STATION” or “ANGLE LAKE STATION” and whenever I look up there or inside the train where intermediate station names are displayed, I end up reading the word “STATION.” Now I am under the impression that the trains stop only at stations and don’t peel off along Othello Street or wander around the University of Washington. In no other transit system I have ever used (and that is quite a few) are rolling signs involved. The rider just needs to know one word: the unique name of the station. On Boston’s MTA, it says “HARVARD”, not “HARVARD STATION”. The system there assumes that the rider knows it is going to the station where Harvard University, Harvard Square, Harvard Street are all proximally located.
When we finally have more than one line, we will have to be able to know what we need to know at a glance on a crowded car or fast on the platform. Could we not do better and assume a little intelligence on the part of the rider?