Riders of TheBus will see a high-tech addition to select Honolulu bus stops that are designed to improve the waiting experience.
WaySine LLC and Ulupono Initiative today launched a six-month test of 20 WaySines, the world’s first uni-body, realtime bus signs. WaySines are solar-powered and will wirelessly display estimated arrival times for upcoming buses, giving riders more control over their travel time. The signs are located in the Kalihi and Kapalama neighborhoods, as well as in Downtown Honolulu at Hotel Street near Richards Street. Installed on existing bus stop poles, the WaySines provide real-time information to bus riders immediately.
WaySine believes that the innovative signs will encourage more people to ride TheBus instead of drive. “We hope that people will find TheBus even more useful with real-time information from WaySines, especially during the holiday season when parking and traffic can be difficult,” said WaySine’s CEO Karl Chang. “Our overall aim is to increase rider satisfaction so that more people will take TheBus instead of their cars.”
Honolulu-based impact investment firm Ulupono Initiative is sponsoring the WaySine pilot project. “As part of our mission to reduce fossil fuel use in Hawaii, we are always looking for alternative transportation solutions,” said Murray Clay, managing partner of Ulupono Initiative. “We hope a successful WaySine test will demonstrate a better commuter experience and increased bus ridership in Honolulu.”
The project represents a milestone for WaySine and its technology partner, Tri-L Data Systems. WaySine’s technology includes cell phone and 900 Megahertz ISM (industrial, scientific, medical) mesh radio and carries the same information as HEA and Da Bus mobile apps. The hybrid network minimizes data transmission cost and energy consumption, and provides for more reliable data feeds. The units rely on solar power with a battery backup for nighttime use.
According to research conducted by the Transit Cooperative Research Program, real-time signs increase ridership, improve rider satisfaction and reduce passenger anxiety. The wait at bus stops feels shorter when there is a sign showing live, expected arrival times. The signs provide information equity for riders without mobile phone apps, and advertise a more intelligent public transit system.