Modernizing public transit: how the technology ecosystem approach enhances ridership experience

When we look at the built environments in our cities we see a quilt-like patchwork of many different and diverse neighborhoods and associated architectural styles, parks and public spaces, infrastructure elements, public transportation networks, and, or course, people.

At Soofa we integrate technology into each one of these components of the city to improve the quality of life and experience for residents and visitors. Ultimately, our technology not only provides function for each particular space in and component of the city, but also connects each element in a multi-beneficial manner; this is what we mean when we say technology ecosystem.

As an example, data gathered from a Soofa Bench in a park showing how busy it is and when people come can inform what type of content should go on the Soofa Sign at a nearby plaza adjacent to a popular main street to drive more traffic to the events hosted in the park. Knowing how people use the city and being able to communicate with them in a meaningful way is the true power of a unified ecosystem approach to making smarter, more livable and lovable cities. 

In the same way that we applied this ecosystem vision to make smarter parks and smarter downtown cores we are now deploying our technology to make smarter, more dynamic, and user friendly transit to improve the user experience for riders. 

Introducing The Soofa Sign For Transit

The Soofa Sign is solar powered, just like the Soofa Bench, and is wirelessly connected meaning content is uploaded from a web based content management system you control from your phone or office. Real time transit information is displayed on the sign using local transit system APIs and is paired with healthy community content like local events and unique offerings happening nearby, important community meetings residents are invited to attend, and wayfinding information to improve multi-modal transportation use and walkability across neighborhoods and cities.

The Soofa Sign Brings Real Time Transit Arrival Information Anywhere Under The Sun

In Porter Square, Cambridge, MA, the Soofa Sign informs commuters when the next bus, subway, and commuter rail is coming. Instead of having to go all the way down inside the station to find out when the next subway or train arrives, riders now know what to expect and can make plans accordingly. 

As one transit rider explained to us, "this is great, now I don't have to run downstairs to the station just to find out I missed my train."

Paired Together, The Soofa Bench And Soofa Sign Deliver Insights For Transit Agencies Like Never Before

Bring Sustainable Charging And Pedestrian Counting Sensors To Your Transit Stops

With the Soofa Bench Pro, transit agencies can now measure pedestrian traffic levels at and near stops and stations, assisting in fleet management and route optimization. Soofa Pro sensor data compliments existing data sets that may be disconnected and complicated to sync up, like GPS on buses and ticket readers on the same buses that don't talk to each other in an intuitive way. 


Sync Soofa Sensor Data With Transit Ridership Numbers

Pedestrian traffic data is visualized to the right from seven different locations along a downtown core. From this we see the busiest day of the week is Saturday on average and pedestrian activity is sporadic throughout the weekdays. This data can be cross referenced with transit rider data like bus ticket data to see when and where more people ride the bus and how this correlates with actual activity on the sidewalks and use of the downtown space overall. 


Is Your Community Actively Planning To Update Its Transit System? 

See If You Are Eligible To Participate In Soofa's National Roll Out of Transit Displays This September.