Innovation That Matters

Retrofitting Sao Paulo payphones for real-time bus data

Work & Lifestyle

As part of the Red Bull Basement festival, Sao Paulo’s payphones were linked to a smart data system that provides real-time bus arrival information.

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Red Bull Basement is an innovation platform that uses technology to make cities more inclusive and accessible. As part of a promotion campaign for its Brazilian Red Bull Basement Festival, the company linked a smart system to Sao Paulo’s 25,000 payphones. Residents dial a toll free number, and the system geolocates the phone that is being used. That location is then mapped against city transit information to identify the nearest bus stop. The fully automated system then tells the caller when the next buses are expected to arrive.

Now, any Sao Paulo resident – whether or not they own a smartphone – can dial up and connect to the city’s smart transport information system. As more and more people move to urban areas, cities are finding new ways to make old systems more accessible. Much work is being done to make large public transport systems more inclusive, such as providing priority seat badges for people with hidden impairments. And as cities improve their sustainability, cycling initiatives play a central role, like this solar-powered, glow-in-the-dark bike path.

Which urban communities are still waiting for their own niche transport hack?



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