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.
- Transportation: First Streetcar Smart Kiosks Installed - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 3rd, 2021
- Plats and Parcels: Lakefront Streetcar Extension Scheduled for June 2022 Opening - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2020
- Transportation: Should Milwaukee Stop The Hop? - Jeramey Jannene - Oct 13th, 2020
- Transportation: The Hop Now Wears a Mask - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 18th, 2020
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Is A Couture Deal Finally Coming? - Jeramey Jannene - May 13th, 2020
- Transportation: SUV Driver Runs Into The Hop - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 28th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Kiosks Could Bring In $500,000 Annually - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 20th, 2020
- Thanks A Million, Hop Riders! - The Hop - Feb 19th, 2020
- Transportation: We Energies Will Sponsor Streetcar - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 10th, 2020
- Transportation: Streetcar Ridership Up in January Versus 2019 - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 7th, 2020
Read more about Milwaukee Streetcar here