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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More about the Milwaukee Streetcar
For more project details, including the project timeline, financing, route and possible extensions, see our extensive past coverage.
- Garbage Truck Crashes Into Streetcar - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 27th, 2023
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Has $16 Million Plan For Downtown Plaza - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 10th, 2023
- Transportation: Feds Don’t Select Milwaukee For Streetcar Grant - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 11th, 2022
- Transportation: Art Campaign Highlights Milwaukee, New York Teens - Jeramey Jannene - Aug 1st, 2022
- Transportation: City Seeking Grant For Streetcar Convention Center Extension - Jeramey Jannene - Jul 15th, 2022
- The Hop Returns To Full Service - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 21st, 2022
- Transportation: Streetcar Service Goes From Bad To Worse - Jeramey Jannene - May 3rd, 2022
- Transportation: Should National Avenue Rebuild Include Plans for Streetcar? - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 8th, 2022
- Transportation: Maintenance Issues Reduce The Hop’s Schedule - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 4th, 2022
- Transportation: Congress Extends Streetcar Grant - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 16th, 2022
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3 thoughts on “Transportation: First Streetcar Smart Kiosks Installed”
More advertising bombarding us everywhere we go. Yuck.
Who is responsible for keeping them clean? Will hand sanitizer be available nearby? If I loose control of my rented electric scooter and smash into one of the ad obelisks am I liable for the damage of can I just take off running?
And while we’re at it, what about all those motorized chariots out there? And lights on the streets? where did those come from? And those paved horse trails now used as roads? Who’s idea was that? “Stop and go” lights? nothing but light pollution. to hell with anything new and creative!
Ludites of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but the future (and progress).