Interactive Kiosks Empower Discovery

LBJ Central Station LBJ Central Station
Posted on May 11, 2021 by Karen Ptacek

This article is from the Spring 2021 issue of the Inmotion stakeholder newsletter. Subscribe here for email notifications when the new issue of Inmotion publishes online. Find the latest issues of Inmotion online at DART.org/publications.

More installations near completion

DART riders soon will see interactive kiosks at more rail stations and bus transfer facilities.

Contractors have installed kiosks at 43 customer facilities as of March 1. Crews are in the process of installing units at 33 stations, which should be completed later this year. An additional 16 locations are in site review and planning.

Each transit facility will have one or more of these 9-foot towers, giving riders new ways to receive information about DART service and nearby destinations.

In total, DART plans to install at least 300 of these interactive systems at its rail stations and bus transfer facilities over the next few years. The agency has approached some of its community partners to identify locations where a DART kiosk could be installed on their properties.

Victory Station

QR codes enable touchless operation

Smart City Media, which manages the content, upgraded DART's system last summer with touchless mobile activation. Now, the interactive touch screens are navigable via smartphone through embedded QR codes for a touch-free experience.

DART has utilized the kiosks to provide information to riders throughout the coronavirus pandemic about cleaning processes, face mask requirements, social distancing and more. As information changes, the agency can push updated content electronically over the internet.

"Our kiosks provide a digital signage function that allows us to convey more messages than we can with a traditional sign," said Chief Marketing Officer Nevin Grinnell.

Northwest Plano Park and Ride

Interactive tools create customized content

Beyond digital signage, the kiosks display rail and bus schedules, offer wayfinding information and feature localized content. Categories range from nearby restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues to medical facilities and government offices. Riders can use the trip-planning feature to get transit or walking instructions and then send those directions to their smartphones.

The software can translate information into nine languages, and the customer interface complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally, each unit includes security cameras, can broadcast emergency notifications, and soon will offer 5G connectivity, as well as public Wi-Fi to riders.

Partnerships expand customer resources

DART signed a master lease agreement with LD Flexgrid Dallas LLC - a joint venture of Landmark Infrastructure Partners LP and Smart City Media - for the design, installation and support of the interactive digital kiosks.

The project also includes installation of cell tower facilities on DART property and the addition of cellular service in the rail tunnel between the Mockingbird and Pearl/Arts District stations. In return, the LD Flexgrid Dallas partners will generate income from advertising on the kiosks' large display monitors and from cell tower leases to pay for the capital and operating costs.

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