Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

DDOT to unveil ‘multi-modal displays’ -- informational screens may go into bus shelters around town

December 14, 2010 - 04:15 PM
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The D.C. Department of Transportation plans to unveil on Thursday their new ‘multi-modal displays’ that may be going into bus shelters around town. The 46-inch informational screens will include a map of the immediate area; real-time information on nearby Metrobuses, Circulator buses, and Metro trains; the nearest locations for car-sharing and Capital Bikeshare; and the weather forecast.

Though plans aren’t firm, agency director Gabe Klein said they hope to have the first screen up at 14th and U Streets NW on Thursday, probably in the window of the Reeves Center lobby. Klein, who’s clearly pretty jazzed about these displays, said they won’t necessarily be relegated to public buildings and bus shelters.

“They could be used in a bar or restaurant,” he says.

But don’t expect to see one in your neighborhood dive just yet. DDOT officials are still looking at mockups of the display and there’s plenty more to figure out, particularly where they might end up.

Agency spokesman John Lisle said they hope the displays get people thinking about transportation options. “It’s to provide people with a lot of information to help them make choices about what mode they should use,” he said.

To give an example, Lisle says someone standing at 14th and U may be wondering whether they should take a bus or walk down to the Metro stop at 13th Street to hop the Green Line. If you can see that the next train isn’t coming for 15 minutes, you may hop the next bus coming down the road.

“If you can take the guesswork out of taking public transportation,” he says, “then I think more people will take it.”

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