Houston METRO plans on spending $26 million to install real-time LED signs to help keep passengers up to date.
The agency is partnering with GMV, a technology business group, who will manage the display systems in the signs. The $26 million will be used to install and provide maintenance for up to 3,000 digital signs across transit centers, rail platforms, and bus stops in Harris County.
"Like Next Bus Texting, our Universal Accessibility initiative and free Wi-Fi on buses, digital signs are just one of the many tools METRO is using to enhance the overall customer experience," METRO said in a statement.
Alex Fay is with GMV and said they will improve the transportation experience for passengers by providing them with real-time METRO updates.
"People want to know down to the minute when their bus is gonna come," he said. "It builds confidence in the transit system. It helps people know that they're gonna be able to get to that doctor’s appointment on time, they're gonna get to work on time, that they can really rely on transit to help them go about their lives."
Fay said the new signs will be similar to displays at an airport.
"Lots of digital displays that tell you which gate you're supposed to be at, if your flight is on time or if it's delayed, even when you should be getting on line to board your flight," he said. "That's something that has been lacking, especially on bus transportation for a long time."
Some digital signs are already in places like the METRO rapid silver line. Over 200 signs have been placed across Houston's METRO since 2019. According to GMV, the new signs will be added over the next seven years.
Fay added GMV has opened an office in Houston which will be staffed by a growing number of technical and administrative employees in order to run the digital signs.
"We have a hardware test lab where all of these signs get checked out and configured before they get installed out on the street," he said. "So it's great to have local Houstonians doing the work to help improve the public transit system in Houston."