Smart Bus Shelter

Smart Bus Shelter

You’re waiting for the bus. It’s not rush hour and yet there’s a crowd. You barely have enough time to consider walking before two buses with enough space for everyone appear in front of you. This is the next generation of connected smart bus shelters – street furniture with the technology to improve the Montréal public transit experience for the service provider, its partners, and users. The applications are easy to imagine. For example, users could employ the bus shelter functions to search for bus routes, find sights to see in the area, or make use of the free Wi-Fi.

But the project goes further. The technology will not only make waiting for the bus easier, it will also make it possible to detect nearby objects and users in real time. Thus, the data gathered on a daily basis could be analyzed in different ways in order to improve the overall experience of all users according to the volume of users, for example, and their reactions.

These new features will enable a better understanding of human interaction with street furniture, in the aim of developing various use cases:

  • Optimization of public transit resources: it will be possible to inform the STM in real time of the number of passengers waiting, allowing for more buses to be sent or for alternative means of transport to be offered (an ideal situation for evaluating user reactions).
  • Targeted advertising: sent directly to users’ cellphones according to interest in advertisements displayed in the bus shelter or to current weather conditions, as various sensors will also allow the shelter to function as a weather station.

Of course, several other uses can be imagined, depending on the combination of different types of data collected. As we are always on the lookout for good ideas, we invite companies to submit projects designed to improve Montrealers’ transit experience.

This project is developed in partnership with Ygal Bendavid, researcher and professor at UQAM's department of management and technology.