First Streetcar Smart Kiosks Installed
Each with interactive displays mixing ads, streetcar arrival data and PSA's.
New pedestrian-sized billboards have begun to emerge in downtown Milwaukee.
Eight-and-a-half-foot-tall CityPost smart kiosks have been installed at multiple stations along the 2.1-mile-long streetcar route. The first kiosks can be seen at the Cathedral Square, Burns Commons and Intermodal stations.
Once activated, the screens on the dual-sided kiosks will include a mix of real-time streetcar arrival information, public service announcements and advertisements.
The 41-inch-wide and 11.6-inch-deep kiosks, known as CityPosts, include two 55-inch touchscreens. Passersby will see ads approximately half the time and can touch the screen to access information. Smart City will sell those ads.
Smart City also operates kiosks near transit systems in Kansas City, Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis and, as of early 2020, was deploying 300 kiosks in Dallas. Milwaukee officials believe that scale will allow the company to sell broader advertising partnerships.
“We’re being a little bit conservative, but it’s probably in that $300,000 to $500,000 range,” said Public Works Commissioner Jeff Polenske in February 2020 of the potential annual revenue. “It could be more.” The Department of Public Works estimated the system would be online in time for the Democratic National Convention. But the pandemic intervened, and the 50,000 DNC visitors never arrived, nor did the kiosks.
Kiosks not directly on the route will be located strategically to help drive people to The Hop. “For example, the stops on [E. Ogden St.], trying to make that connection to Brady Street,” said Polenske, noting only four blocks separate the streetcar from the Lower East Side commercial corridor. All of the locations will be located in the public right of way.
The devices also include a 360-degree camera that is to be accessible by the Milwaukee Police Department. They also have cameras and microphones for users to interact with in the event of emergencies.
The city’s 2021 budget includes $4.5 million for streetcar operations with funding coming from Potawatomi’s presenting sponsorship ($833,333), advertising ($390,000) and federal CARES Act funding ($110,000). The city will also receive a new round of federal funds as part of the latest transit stimulus allocation in the American Rescue Plan Act. The remaining funding necessary to operate the system comes from parking revenues. The 2021 budget calls for $37.9 million in parking revenue in 2021, including $15.4 million from citations.
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For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
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- Transportation: Maintenance Issues Reduce The Hop’s Schedule - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 4th, 2022
- Transportation: Congress Extends Streetcar Grant - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 16th, 2022
- City Needs Act of Congress Because of Couture-Streetcar Delay - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 1st, 2022
- Transportation: Streetcar Study Draws Controversy - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 27th, 2021
- Transportation: Streetcar Returning To Full Schedule - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 26th, 2021
- Transportation: Southside Streetcar Study, Street Improvements Approved - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 20th, 2021
- Transportation: City Proposes Study of Streetcar to Walker’s Point - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 8th, 2021
- Transportation: First Streetcar Smart Kiosks Installed - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2021
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