Why is the T late? This new upgrade helps you understand.

Commuters wait for a train on the MBTA Red Line at Park Street Station in July 2017. —CRAIG F. WALKER/BOSTON GLOBE STAFF

T riders know the electronic, orange text that hangs above train platforms quite well — sometimes infamously.

The signs, which flash messages about when trains will arrive or that they are “X minutes” away from a station, are the source of a common complaint from passengers when the alerts are wrong and would-be riders are left hanging, wondering, “What exactly happened to my train?”

But MBTA officials say they have introduced a new message to the signs that intends to give passengers insight into what’s going on with delayed trains.

On Tuesday, signs along the Blue, Orange, and Red lines and at the Mattapan Trolley stops debuted “stopped-train” messaging to inform waiting passengers when there’s been a hold up on the next arriving train, according to an MBTA press release.


Similar messages will appear in the fall at Green Line stops where the countdown signs are found.

“This new [feature] is in line with our ongoing mission to improve the customer experience,” MBTA General Manager Luis Manuel Ramírez said in a statement. “By addressing a common customer complaint, this improvement provides useful information to our customers while minimizing potential confusion caused [by] countdown signs when trains are stopped.”

The new messaging will grace signs once a train has stopped along a line for two minutes longer than initially expected, according to the release. Waiting passengers will see the alert, “Stopped X stops away.”

The upgrade is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to help give passengers more real-time updates.

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