On The Go Digital OOH Transit Information Network Reaches More Than 1.2 Million Commuters Daily
NEW YORK, NY — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) On the Go Travel Station kiosks network has reached a new milestone. The kiosks are now activate in 30 stations across the MTA’s system including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. A total of 153 kiosks are on track to be live across New York’s transit system by the end of 2014.
According to the MTA, their kiosk information system is one of the largest transit-based digital signage networks in the United States, currently providing transit information to more than 1.2 million subway commuters daily. The MTA subways, buses, and railroads provide 2.62 billion trips each year, the equivalent of about one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation’s rail riders.
The On the Go Travel Station provides subway commuters with information about their complete trip, from planning and service status to information about nearby destinations. The kiosks place an unprecedented amount of transit information at commuter’s fingertips while they are in the system. In addition to commuters pulling information, NYC Transit can push granular Service Advisory messages to network screens. More than 140 digital OOH screens have been deployed in fare-control areas, mezzanines and on station platforms. Each kiosk features a 47-inch interactive digital signage screen housed in a six-foot tall, stainless steel enclosure, and are individually addressable, whether hard wired to the NYC Transit network or part of a secure wireless network.
“The On the Go Travel Station network is one of the most ambitious in-system customer information initiatives we’ve undertaken since the introduction of our subway countdown clocks,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Having a digital platform for customers to obtain travel information, while simultaneously giving us the ability to communicate with them is a huge step forward in our efforts to provide timely information to customers at the point of transit decision making,” added Prendergast.
The network’s roll out comes three years after the initial introduction of the On the Go pilot program. As part of that pilot, five kiosks were installed at three subway stations and one each at Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. The network is made possible through a unique public-private partnership among NYC Transit, Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoor Americas Inc.) and Control Group NYC. In the proof of concept phase, the MTA worked with Outfront Media and the Control Group who covered the kiosk fabrication, screen user interface design and programming costs. Each partner firms will recoup their investment through the sale of digital advertising displayed on the transit network’s digital OOH screens. NYC Transit is covering installation and maintenance costs, and will share in advertising revenue with both Outfront Media and Control Group.
The partnerships with Outfront Media and Control Group are the result of a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) issued after the 2011 pilot. In that RFEI, advertisers and technology companies were asked to evaluate the On The Go kiosk as a customer service device and whether a deployment of this technology could be supported by digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising.
In response to that RFEI, and subsequent agreements, both firms designed a custom user interface for customers to interact with and obtain travel and other transit information, while still providing adequate screen space and time for advertising. In developing that interface, each firm took different approach to developing their version of the On the Go screen.
“These kiosks are a beacon for customers in the system, “said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “To see our customers interact with the machines, to use the map, check a service advisory or plan a trip shows me that this investment was well worth it, and is just what our customers want — accurate, up-to-date information and access to it. The development of the On the Go system is in line with the modernization of the subway system and just one component in our ongoing effort to offer our customers relevant and up to date information,” Bianco added.
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