Public transport has long provoked the ire of the British public thanks in part to a fairly inefficient system in most areas. Lots of customer bemoan the lack of information feeds as one of the biggest gripes because delays and disruption aren’t always communicated to the customers in a timely fashion – but can digital signage change this? Have we discovered the answer to public transport’s long standing issues?
Firstly, Digital Signage can solve the problem of inaccurate or delayed delivery of information thanks to the live update functionality, also know as Real Time Information (RTI). A digital sign at each stop on the vehicle’s route can be programmed to display exactly when it will arrive and this approach has been used for some time in major city centres such as Nottingham’s Tram and Bus systems.
How can the information be so accurate? Put simply, each vehicle only needs be fitted with a GPS tracking system and the whole process can be automated. Details of where the vehicle is located, combined with route information and any extraneous circumstances such as roadworks, will produce an accurate estimate of how long it will take for the vehicle to arrive.
In addition to ensuring the information is accurate; digital signage can also display more information than a passenger would ever have had access to before. Details of forthcoming changes to the service, current re-routing due to issues such as roadworks, and details of delays and cancellations can all be delivered without the user needing to seek the information out for themselves again thanks to introduction of RTI.
Incorporating a wayfinding solution is also a great idea for digital signage as some passengers may not be familiar with the area they are travelling to or may need guidance on where to pick up their next connection. Making the maps interactive will enable users to effectively plan- out their routes without needing to leave the stop/station.
In truth, the main issue most users have with public transport is the lack of information on offer. Prior to digital signage, customers would be restricted to a printed bus/train schedule that provided minimal information – at most the service number and an approximate time that the vehicle would be due to arrive.
Now, digital signage offers the public more information than ever before and keeps them connected to a live feed of information regarding their bus/tram/train. Not only can it deliver live updates on how long it is expected to take before arriving; it can also give information as to why it will take this length of time.
Keeping customers informed is vital to improving satisfaction with services; you could even offer entertainment options on the digital signage to occupy those who have a longer waiting time than perhaps they anticipated – keeping the customer happy makes for better business overall; all thanks to digital signage.