London’s Transport Authority Expanding LED-based Countdown Signs; Testing Interactive And E-Paper Signs

March 7, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The integrated mass transport authority for the UK’s capital city area – Transport For London (TfL) – is adding 300 more of its simple LED countdown displays to routes this year, and also started trials of e-paper displays on bus stop poles and interactive full color displays inside bus shelters on one route.

Beginning this month, TfL is installing more bus Countdown boards across every borough in the capital, boosting the overall number of boards by 12 per cent. The signs are positioned as simple and reliable LED text read-out screens put in place to help Londoners get from A to B by bus, with information that says which buses are next and when they’ll reach that stop.

TfL is also trialling new screens on the route 63 between King’s Cross and Honor Oak – digital colour displays inside bus shelters that have the same live bus arrival information  offered on Countdown signs, supplemented by live mapping and travel information that includes any disruptions and diversions.

“Customers are given up-to-the-second information on bus delays and updates on the rest of the TfL network,” TfL says in announcing the screens. “Before boarding the bus, passengers can also view every stop that they’ll be taken to on their chosen route. In the future, these displays will be able to show the live location of all buses as they move along the route and even inform how busy it is on board.”

The transport authority is also doing more testing on e-paper displays mounted to bus stop poles. The ereader-like monochrome displays  allow customers to view live bus arrival times, digital timetables and route maps. The displays are mounted at a suitable height for wheelchair users, and live bus arrival information can also be activated as an audio announcement at the push of a button, helping people who have visual impairments.

TfL has been testing/trialling e-paper displays at stops since at least 2015.

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