CHK America, the leading best practice provider of customer information and wayfinding solutions for the U.S. public transportation industry, has officially launched its latest product under its new ConnectPoint® Digital Division, the ConnectPoint SmartStop™, a solar-powered, standalone pylon that provides interactivity to the customer. This smart stop was part of Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) innovation program to enhance the transit customer travel experience, by providing real time arrival, trip planning and other capabilities in an elegant solar powered tower. VTA will be the first transit agency to utilize the new ConnectPoint SmartStop, where they will be installed on two VTA bus stops serving 6 major routes in East San Jose California.
The Digital Bus Stops housed within the SmartStop—which feature E Ink technology that provides high contrast, sunlight readable displays—can be used to display next departure information for rail and bus services, bikeshare, a local map and feature real-time alerts.
The 10-inch tablet will provide a fully interactive user Interface which will provide bus and rail route and stop details; trip planning; and other interactive applications.
The screens can also display any additional information an agency may need, such as Uber and Lyft details; or advertisements with map locations plotted. A solar powered solution was critical to VTA’s needs providing flexibility to locate the stops where power was not easily obtainable.
“Once again VTA has the vision to install a revolutionary product into the field first,” commented Rick Wood, CHK America’s President and CEO. “VTA described what a bus stop of the future would look like for their needs, and following months of development, CHK has created the first solar powered interactive bus stop pylon in the world. ”
“Silicon Valley is built on Innovation, Imagination, and partnerships,” stated Gary Miskell, Chief Technology Officer at VTA. “The collaboration with CHK America embraces these ideals allowing us to bring something new and exciting to our VTA customers.”
The new ConnectPoint® SmartStop™ complements CHK America’s previously announced ConnectPoint Digital suite of products that appeal to today’s tech savvy riders, providing a higher level of customized information to meet their “on the go” planning needs. Products include:
Established in 1999 as a subsidiary of The Cook Hammond & Kell Group, one of the largest independent cartographic production companies in the world, CHK America is the premier best practice provider of customer information solutions for the U.S. public transportation industry. Providing award-winning wayfinding solutions to transit agencies for over 15 years, the company’s 8 Second Rule has set the standard for communicating complex public transit information to customers quickly and efficiently after CHK America’s research revealed customers become frustrated with any service that takes longer than eight seconds to convey pertinent travel information. Under the leadership of CEO Rick Wood, a recognized authority in wayfinding strategies, CHK America now engages over 2 billion people throughout the United States, fully 20% of America’s public transportation customers. Between customized information design and purpose-built hardware fabrications, CHK America is providing solutions for many of the largest multi-modal transit agencies in the US from WMATA in Washington DC to DART in Dallas Texas, to LA Metro in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.chkamerica.com
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district that provides sustainable, accessible, community-focused transportation options that are innovative, environmentally responsible, and promote the vitality of our region. VTA is responsible for bus, light rail and paratransit operations and also serves as the county’s congestion management agency.
The web-enabled ConnectPoint® Interactive Touchscreen Kiosk integrates with tracking and location systems, scheduling systems and other agency information systems allowing agencies to provide comprehensive information to their customers. Touchscreen technology in the ConnectPoint® Interactive Touchscreen Kiosks allows for intuitive interaction with the information to explore transit options and to create specific routes, including an overview of the entire route, next departure times for every stop in the system as well as detailed local mapping for each stop. The kiosks also provide trip-planning tools that include detailed travel directions for public transportation, cars, bicycling and walking. Texting and email options are also included for easy transfer to a mobile device. The kiosk also has the ability to push out route deviations as they happen, generate revenue via location-based advertising and leverages smart phones at the decision-making point (i.e. the stop). And CHK’s ConnectPoint® Interactive Kiosk is just one of the company’s new digital solution tools.
CHK America’s solar-powered ConnectPoint® Digital Bus Stop, utilizing E-Ink technology, offers real-time departure and schedule information as well as service alerts delivered using simple battery power or solar power. For remote locations, the Digital Bus Stop can be updated remotely for every service change.
CHK America’s SmartStop™ is a stand-alone, solar powered totem product. The SmartStop contains two Connectpoint Digital Bus Stops, featuring E Ink technology; and an interactive touchpad. It also includes USB charging ports. This product allows transit agencies to deploy an incredibly robust information system anywhere within their system without the need for electrical infrastructure.