Smart bus stops are fast becoming the norm in large cities and highly connected areas. Thanks to digital signage technology, city councils and bus companies have been able to modernise and transform the digital bus stop scene.
This technology comes with a host of features that can be used in smart cities and can enhance the experience of passengers and residents alike.
1. Smart Cities
Smart cities have become highly popular in recent years and councils are keen to invest in the concept. You can read more about smart cities and digital signage here.
Smart bus stops are one of many features that can improve smart cities. Smart and digital bus stops allow for live travel information to be shown on the bus shelter screen. For example, there could be a live map that tracks where the bus or a live traffic information feed to help people plan their journeys.
These smart bus stops can be linked to the council or bus company’s information hub, which allows for endless possibilities of what to display. For example, in Southampton (where we’re based) Southampton FC play at the weekends and this greatly increases traffic. A smart bus stop can have its content scheduled to let passengers and residents know that the game is on and that their journey may take longer than expected.
There are endless possibilities for digital bus shelters and they can greatly enhance smart cities. To find out how we’re changing the smart city scene, click here.
2. Promote and Advertise
Using digital signage in smart bus stops offers councils and advertisers a fresh and dynamic channel to promote products and services. There are many fantastic examples of how large companies have used digital bus shelters in their advertising campaigns. Most notably, Pepsi Cola, who utilised digital bus shelters to create an interactive, engaging, viral campaign that has amassed over 8.5 million views on YouTube alone.
However, these unique advertising channels are not reserved to large corporations. Council’s can also use smart city bus stops to promote local events like carnivals and festivals. This is a good way of supporting local businesses and driving economic growth.
Promoting and advertising on smart city bus stops can add another revenue stream for councils and bus companies. The revenue generate can then be invested back into the city or transport system. Whilst rates vary, you can earn upwards of £357 per advertiser, per screen, per week in profit*.
*Please note this figure is subjective and will depend on footfall rates, size of advertiser etc.
3. Environmentally Friendly
With over 411 million metric tonnes of paper being produced each year, (around 27 football pitches worth of trees every minute), we all need to cut down our paper usage. One way to be more sustainable is to replace print media with digital content. Once installed, digital displays last for years, whereas posters will have to be continuously updated and changed. The benefit of having a smart bus stop is that content can be changed online without increasing paper waste.
To go a step further, councils and bus companies can utilise the often unused roof of the bus shelter to install solar panels. These solar panels can help power the screen and reduce the power needed from the mains. Alternatively, these solar panels could be separate to the screen and produce power in a collective smart cities project.
4. React to the External Environment
Smart bus stops are a great way to increase awareness of issues in the local area and heighten the sense of community. For example, an area may have high levels of pollution and the smart bus stop could raise awareness about the issue. Digital bus shelters can even have a pollution detector installed that can trigger content on the screen. The content could be a message to remind residents to be more eco-friendly, or it could be a celebratory message if pollution rates have decreased.
Using a wind monitor trigger will result in a highly interactive experience for passengers and residents. For example, if the wind levels were over a certain level, this could trigger specific content on screen. The content could be as simple as a message saying “it’s windy outside! A perfect day for sailing!”. After this, the smart bus stop could then give directions to the local sailing club.
We have countless triggers that we can integrate with your digital signage or smart bus stop. Get in touch with the team today to find out more.
5. Entertain Waiting Passengers
Smart bus shelters are a great way of keeping passengers entertained. For example, if the wait for the bus is 30 minutes, the passenger may appreciate the local news being on. Not only will this help them stay informed about their community, but it may make waiting less tedious and incentivise bus travel.
Alternatively, councils and bus companies can create their own content and videos to help passengers stay entertained. These could be videos by local producers or even live social media content. This can help keep passengers engaged and even improve the reputation of the council or bus company.