Innovation That Matters

Upgraded bus shelters are recharge hotspots


A pair of bus shelters in LA have been upgraded to tech hotspots, with free USB charging stations and WiFi.

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Municipal governments are constantly searching for ways to distribute internet access across cities. We have already seen Portuguese buses transformed into moving Wifi hotspots and solar-powered trash bins in New York. Now, the city of Los Angeles has launched a pilot program that saw selected bus shelters upgraded to smartphone hotspots, with free-to-use USB charging stations, low-energy LED lighting powered by the sun, and free WiFi.

The initiative is a collaboration with outdoor advertising company JCDecaux and currently includes two bus shelters, one of which is outside City Hall. The bus stops also offer updated information about the schedules of the LA Metro and DASH — the city’s bus service — as well as an audio interface for visually impaired users. Bluetooth beacons have also been installed, which could be used to provide local guides as the program expands.

What other services could be offered at bus shelters?



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