Jul 16, 2019

RTA pilots solar real-time bus arrival information signs

By: Mandy Metcalf, Planning Team Leader - Programming & Planning Dept.

Knowing exactly when your bus will arrive makes riding transit easier and less stressful. That’s why RTA is testing solar real-time arrival information signs from CHK Connectpoint. The signs list when the bus is coming for all the routes at the stop and update every minute based on the actual position of the bus. These signs are located on the outside of the shelter or on a pole nearby for easy rider access.

The first two signs have been installed at bus stops on Prospect at E 4th St. and Superior at W 3rd St. Five additional signs will be placed along the Euclid  Corridor area in the City of Cleveland this spring.  Two different sizes  of signs are being tested. The larger sign can display more routes. These next generation real-time signs have a low power e-paper display that is powered by a solar panel. They can display messages and service alerts and are monitored via a central internal RTA website .

Real-time arrival information has consistently been rated as a high priority by RTA riders and by transit users nation-wide. RTA riders with a smartphone can utilize apps that provide real-time arrival info such as the RTA CLE App and Transit App. However, over a quarter of Cleveland residents do not own a smartphone, and visitors to Cleveland may not be aware of the smartphone applications available. And even for those with the app, sometimes on a cold day it’s nice to not have to take out the smartphone.  RTA’s real-time arrival reporting system will be getting even better in the near future due to an upgrade of the communications systems infrastructure which should be completed in 2020.

The pilot project will run through December 2019. You can provide feedback on the signs at www.riderta.com/solarsign 

Several community partners helped make this project happen. RTA would like to thank the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Historic Warehouse District, and the Historic Gateway District for their funding and support.

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