KCATA board approves installation of Smart City kiosks

Date:August 14, 2017
KCATA board approves installation of Smart City kiosks

They’re one of the hottest advancements in transit and they’ll start cropping up along RideKC routes in a matter of months.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Board of Commissioners has approved the installation of 66 Smart City kiosks, similar to what you see along the downtown streetcar line.

These touch-screen kiosks feature real-time bus arrival information coupled with a constant flow of information about city and community events as well as other local offerings such as restaurants.

Riders also will be able to use the kiosk to follow their bus in real time along the route and find relevant schedule information at their fingertips.

The kiosks also could be a revenue-producer for the KCATA. The Authority is contracting with a firm that will supply the software and advertising content. The firm also will be responsible for maintaining the kiosks after they’re built and installed by the KCATA.

The new kiosks are a substantial upgrade from the LED information signs now posted at the MAX stations on Main Street and Troost Avenue. They not only present information digitally that riders can interact with but they also stand to be a money-maker as well.

“It’s better communication for our customers,” said Dick Jarrold, the KCATA’s vice president of regional planning and development.

“They’re getting more than just a static display,” Jarrold said. “They’re getting the most up-to-date, real-time information about transit and they’re also getting information about the surrounding area.”

Jarrold pointed out that the kiosks could be used to display information about local businesses and job opportunities. “We would have advertising that’s revenue generating but hopefully there’s advertising that’s more public-service related,” he said.

The KCATA plans to install 60 of the Smart City kiosks along the new Prospect MAX corridor, which is expected to start operating in mid-2019.

Two Smart City kiosks will be placed at the new Three Trails Crossing Transit Center, which is expected to open this fall near the northeast corner of Bannister Road and Blue Ridge Boulevard.

Four others are planned for downtown, including 12th Street and Grand Boulevard and Main Street and Petticoat. Planners are also looking at deploying one at the Mission Transit Center in Johnson County and other high-volume stations in the Kansas City bus network.

The new Smart City kiosks are another innovative step that the KCATA has taken during the last couple of years. We’re excited to bring a new technology to Prospect Avenue and other bus stops in the RideKC system. We think our riders will enjoy this new amenity as well.