Yes, the times are a changing (pun intended), and our bus stop timetables need to change as well. Just look at how much information is on this bus stop, and that is just one side.
Have a look at this one.
At the best of times, timetables and routes can be tricky to read in isolation, but when every route and every time is displayed at the same time, it is chaos. Yes, all of this information is relevant…to someone, but it is never ALL relevant to the one person, at the one time. Different users have different goals.
The problem here is the bus stop is trying to cater for every type of user at the one time. This is understandable, knowing the limitations of the medium. But there is technology available that can alleviate this mass of omnidirectional data. Digital displays, tablets, ipads, whatever you want to call them. Imagine the benefits of using a digital display instead of printed paper. I’ll list a few:
- data can be kept up to date instantly
- users can choose to view data relevant to their goals
- no need to manually change every printout whenever a change in time or route is made
- display issues with traffic, and delays with buses, in real-time
- show alerts and important information
- display maps and routes
- display city wide, or community wide, alerts
- receive feedback
- and so much more
I know what you are thinking,
but how much will that cost?
Well I’m pretty sure the cost of those elaborate fabricated bus stops cost more than a pole with a mobile enabled, solar powered, digital display unit. Not to mention the added cost of manually changing every single printed paper in all of the signs, on the entire route, when something changes. Advertising can also reduce that cost even further, if they wanted to go down that path.
Digital displays are cheap these days, and the technology to power this live digital timetable and routing system already exists.
I just hope state governments don’t try to build it from scratch, because that is when rate and tax payer money is wasted.
When solutions already exist, or when a startup could create it for 1/10th of the cost.
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