Sydney Buses trial e-paper signs with real-time info for passengers

Sydney Buses have trialled signs using electronic paper technology to display network information to its customers.

The e-paper signs offer an easy-to-read resolution, with a low energy requirement, and are solar-powered. They were built by Australian company Mercury Innovation, with the e-paper technology from Visionect, a Slovenian company. The eStop signs are fed by data from the Transport for NSW Open Data Team.

What information do the signs display?

The signs display:

  • real-time arrival
  • capacity information
  • Incident Alert messages (direct feed from Transport Info website)
  • planned disruptions due to construction
  • planned service changes for special events

The real-time arrival data is collected from the Public Transport Information and Priority System (PTIPS) which in turn obtains its data GPS sensors aboard the buses. The Transport for NSW data team then uses a General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) to relay customer-friendly data to the e-paper screens. If for some the real-time data is unavailable, the screens will instead display information on timetabled services.

The bus capacity information is collected from the use of Opal cards on each bus.

Where are the signs located?

The e-ink signs have been trialled in two locations: Town Hall on Park Street, Stand K, and the Queen Victoria Building on York Street, Stand B.

What’s next?

The signs were trialled for two months, during which time observations were made, along with the collection of customer insights and stakeholder feedback. They will stay in place while Transport for NSW reviews the results of the trial.

eStop sign, Park Street, Sydney. Source: Transport for NSW

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