The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Tech Focus

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Tech Focus

The LA Metro is embracing next-gen digital signage. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is the transportation planner, coordinator, designer, builder, and operator for Los Angeles County. More than 9.6 million people—nearly one-third of California’s residents—live, work, and play within Metro’s 1,433-square-mile service area. Metro states that it is dedicated to providing Los Angeles County with a “world-class transportation system.”

THE CHALLENGE

Union Station is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States. Serving more than 60,000 passengers a day, the station is the region’s primary transit hub, connecting Southern California counties and providing access to Amtrak long distance trains, Amtrak California regional trains, Metrolink commuter trains, Metro Rail subway and light rail lines, plus bus service from Metro and other municipal operators. Greyhound’s Bolt service, Megabus, and the LAX Flyaway also operate from the station.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority purchased the iconic downtown LA station in 2011 and is working on a Master Plan to implement wide ranging improvements to the facility, with a primary focus on passenger service and satisfaction.

Jenna Hornstock, deputy executive officer, Countywide Planning & Development, New Mobility Regional Initiatives, was charged with overseeing design of the new environmental graphics package and identifying opportune places for integration of new technology. Part of the many-phased plan was an eye-catching 17-foot digital information tower to be installed in Union Station East.

“Our goal for the tower was to provide customer-facing information that would help visitors navigate more easily throughout the station,” said Hornstock.

Concurrent with development of the new environmental graphics package, plans were being made to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the historic station’s opening day. With a large number of participants expected, along with focused media attention, this event was identified as the ideal time to roll out the new information tower. The problem: the tower wasn’t scheduled for completion this soon. Plus, the initial plan specified static LED screens. This occasion called for something more dynamic.

The project’s initial plan specified static LED screens. But this application called for something much more dynamic and engaging. THE SOLUTION

Metro’s IT Services had been investigating options for electronic digital signage since mid-2011, working closely with the Communications team on content development. A pilot featuring a ViewSonic EP5555 55-inch free-standing dual sided ePoster digital kiosk was receiving positive feedback, and the team had begun testing a touch-enabled ViewSonic EP5555T 55-inch free-standing ePoster digital kiosk, which was targeted to become an Interactive Station Guide for eventual use throughout Union Station and Metro’s 100 or so other locations.

KEY ELEMENTS / / FOR THE END USER

“Our goal for the tower was to provide customer-facing information that would help visitors navigate more easily throughout the station.”
—Jenna Hornstock

TECH FOCUS

  • ViewSonic CDP5560-TL 55-inch narrow bezel large format displays
  • Coordinated efforts within the agency supported accelerated project development.
  • Partnership support from ViewSonic and Cisco enabled rapid development and expedited hardware delivery to accomplish the task on time.