Transport for London has started trials of a new type battery-powered bus stop display screen which could provide a low-cost alternative to the current generation of Countdown displays.
Like the current screens, the new Dynamic screens display the time until the next bus on each route serving the stop will arrive.
However the use of built-in batteries means they can be fitted to bus stops without a electrical power supply, and by attaching to the bus stop ‘flag’ they could also allow TfL to bring live updates to bus stops which lack a shelter.
Trials will start this week a bus stop at Northwood Station, Hillingdon where the signs will display next bus arrival information to customers travelling to and from Mount Vernon Hospital.
Roll-out of the Countdown screens has halted in recent years, in part because of the cost of installation, with TfL encouraging passengers to use mobile apps and SMS updates to check arrival times.
However the technology now being trialled could provide a low-cost option allowing more screens to be installed across the capital.
Simon Reed, TfL’s Head of Technical Services, said: “We are continually exploring new ways to deliver information to our customers while they are on the move and to ensure we are at the forefront of new technology as it develops.
“We will trial this screen for three months and will then evaluate how successful it has been and what our customers think of it.
“If cost-effective, this type of display could be quickly and cheaply installed at other bus stops with no shelter or power supply. This will widen our reach in providing real time bus arrival information at the stop to our passengers.”