London’s bus shelters could soon start displaying emergency warnings from Transport for London (TfL) under plans to replace display signs at a number of locations.
JCDecaux, which takes over the street advertising contract in 2016, has developed a digital display that can flip from adverts to information signs. Normally, they will display adverts, or a mix of local information.
One potentially useful option includes putting tube travel alerts on the bus stops, so people heading to the tube might see a sign warning of problems and save themselves the walk.
Other uses include local points of interest, and a potential use is crowd guidance during major public events, offering route information for crowds heading to a venue.
However, TfL has the ability to override the digital advertisements, via a secure facility in which they can upload/store a selection of JPG files (or a twitter controlled message template) that can then be assigned to individual screens/groups of screens.
The messages could be nothing more serious than warnings about blocked roads ahead, although they could be used for more serious alerts if needed.
TfL is in the process of applying for planning permission for around 550 bus stops to be upgraded within zones 1 and 2 (out of a city-wide portfolio of 5,000 bus shelters).