CMK bus stops go solar powered

Thursday 2 July 2020



Solar powered bus stops
Solar powered display

MK Council has installed two new innovative solar powered displays at bus stops in Central MK’s Theatre District to help passengers find real time bus information and supplement printed schedules.

The displays are being trialled until next spring, and if they prove a success with passengers more could be rolled out across the whole borough.

MK Council is keen to hear from passengers about what other information would be helpful to be on display.

This could be:

  • Are they easy to read
  • What do you want to see in the second panel
  • How do they compare to traditional real time signs and paper timetable/map information

More than 100 bus stops (of around 1,000 in total) in Milton Keynes and two large screens in the Central MK shopping centres already offer what’s called Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) technology, to display where a bus is located. The raised screens everyone is familiar with offer limited information, while the new e ink displays can show a variety of information, including maps.

The council is keen to work with bus operators to expand the service if there’s demand – and to do it in an environmentally sustainable way. Solar powered displays would enable the council to make updates in real time and would stop the reliance on reprinting and installing paper-based timetables and maps.

MK Council is one of a handful of local authorities currently trialling the technology. It’s part of the council’s aim for MK to be carbon neutral by 2030, and to stimulate the local economy in more imaginative and environmentally sound ways as Milton Keynes recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Jenny Wilson-Marklew, Cabinet Member for Transport said, “In a modern place like MK you’d expect to see more real time information to help people use the bus network with confidence, so I’m pleased we’re looking at how to roll this out in line with what passengers want."

"Using technologies like solar, and making these changes to make public transport easier and more accessible will get us that little bit closer to our ambition to be a leading sustainable city.”

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