Real-Time Digital Bus Stops in Downtown Pittsburgh


The Port Authority of Allegheny County, the second largest transit agency in Pennsylvania, wanted to install real-time, digital bus stops in the downtown Pittsburgh area even though they didn’t have electrical infrastructure to support these digital displays. So they turned to their wayfinding solutions partner CHK America. CHK had recently developed the first solar-powered, real-time, ePaper, digital displays in North America, aptly named Connectpoint® Digital Bus Stop®.

Nominating Company: CHK America, Santa Barbara, California
Venue: Signage and Wayfinding Program, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Project: Port Authority of Allegheny County Signage and Wayfinding Program
Category: Transportation

As a technology solutions provider and fabricator, CHK also developed a lightweight, weatherized casing that can be deployed on existing infrastructures within 30 minutes.

ConnectPoint Digital Bus StopCHALLENGES
Implementing solar-powered, digital signage in an urban environment is a challenge with shade considerations such as different heights of buildings and trees, to name a few. Also, in direct sunlight, LED/LCD screens are hard to read so ePaper was the perfect solution. ePaper is readable even in direct sunlight.

CHK America not only developed a software solution to broadcast on the ePaper display, but the company fabricated weatherized, solar-powered signage that could be easily retro-fitted on their existing infrastructure.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County, with a daily ridership of more than 85 million a year, contracted a total of 20 solar-powered, real-time, ePaper, Connectpoint® Digital Bus Stop® products to be installed. This was the largest real-time, ePaper variable messaging deployment in North America. Broadcasting real-time arrival/departure times to riders resulted in lessening their confusion and created a more enjoyable transportation experience. Studies show that when riders have the information available, even if there is a delay, it puts them more at ease and able to feel in control of their trip.

While installing at busy intersections, riders of all ages were intrigued and incredulous. They couldn’t believe that they can see when their bus would arrive in real time. Smiles all around on the inaugural launch, and Port Authority of Allegheny stated that people not only use the Connectpoint® Digital Bus Stop® with real-time arrivals/departures/alerts, but study it.

Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA

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