If you’ve even driven the 401 highway that runs up from Detroit through Toronto and almost to Montreal, you’ll have been thankful there’s a set of travel centres that provide the essentials to motoring: gas, coffee and clean restrooms. About 500,000 people a day pull in to these centres across the province.
There are 23 ONroute Service Centres on the 401 and the 400, which heads north to cottage country, and most of them now have shiny new three-sided interactive stations aimed to boost tourism and promote highway safety.
The remaining three (existing self service kiosks) will be replaced as construction is completed in each centre. The change is the result of a partnership between the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC) and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
The kiosks contain new 65-inch digital screens which connect users directly with information and services such as: a direct link to OTMPC’s travel website www.ontariotravel.net, Ontario’s accommodation providers and attractions, and links that enable people to join the conversation on OTMPC’s social media channels as well as download the tourism-focused Discover Ontario mobile app.
Two interactive games, ‘Top Traveler’ and ‘Memory Match’, based on OTMPC’s ‘Ontario’s Best Road Trips’ summer marketing campaign, make learning about Ontario’s many experiences, products and destinations fun and exciting. Since the new kiosks launched in mid-August, they have captured the attention of over 190,000 visitors to the ONroute Service Centres.
MTO offers various information options at the kiosks, including maps displaying real-time weather and traffic, and a valuable trip-planning tool that helps ensure timely, safe travel experiences.
The kiosks were developed and put in by Cineplex Digital Media. The company got involved with the centres years ago, when DDC (later acquired by Cineplex) put in screens and managed content. I think those screens are still there, and these new interactive screens are additions.
God knows why someone would want to play a construction zone trivia challenge (see pic), but there are many things that escape me lately.