Google-backed Intersection has started rolling out what will be some 300 interactive digital stations at hubs along the Philadelphia-area rail system run by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, aka SEPTA.
The digital totems offer real-time transit information and maps, as well as free WiFi. The first ones have gone in at the remarkably generic-sounding Suburban Station, but the tech will eventually go across the full network of subway and commuter rail stops.
The deployment is bankrolled by Intersection, with the plan/hope it recovers capital and operating costs through advertising.
“We are delighted that this partnership brings huge benefits to our riders at no cost to taxpayers,” says SEPTA’s General Manager, Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “From high-speed Wi-Fi to device charging, to interactive directions, to better access of real-time information and alerts—it’s a win-win to continually think about how we can modernize our customers’ experiences.”
SEPTA is the sixth largest public transportation system in the U.S., with an average weekday ridership of approximately 1.1 million. Intersection already has that large network of similar kiosks running in New York, called LinkNYC.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.