Kuwait welcomes its first electronic passenger information service


Privately-owned CityBus, the leading public transport operator in Kuwait, is transforming bus transportation in the Gulf state with the first ever electronic passenger information service from UK-based Papercast, a leader in solar-powered ‘e-paper’ real-time passenger information systems.

The landmark system aims to redefine service standards, replacing traditional bus stop paper timetables with Papercast’s first deployment of the double 32in (81cm) e-paper display and onboard service information screens, with a fully integrated general transit feed specification (GTFS) real-time passenger information platform.

The overall project also includes a transit management system for improved bus arrival accuracy and service performance management, and will enable a new mobile app in the new year, another first for Kuwait. CityBus is the first public transport provider to introduce solar powered e-paper technology into the Gulf states, with an initial deployment on four dedicated routes serving Kuwait International Airport.

The system underwent six-months of testing during which the Papercast e-paper display withstood extreme environmental conditions, with daily temperatures exceeding 48°C in the summer months, combined with severe sand storms. It is expected that the technology will be rolled out across CityBus’s new fleet over the next three years. Papercast’s range of solar powered, wireless e-paper bus stop displays provide excellent outdoor visibility and have been engineered with superior functionality and exceptionally low energy consumption.

Completely standalone, the displays can be easily installed ‘off-the-grid’ within hours, and the cloud-based transit management platform provides operational control and real-time data integration. The signs feature an advanced quad-core e-paper driver board in a new ruggedized IP65-rated enclosure, made from extruded aluminum, with a toughened laminated anti-vandal, anti-scratch front glass, integrated accelerometer and a secure fixing mechanism.

“Getting accurate service information to passengers on time is transforming the service experience in cities around the world. We are delighted to be the first to introduce this technology, not only in Kuwait, but across the GCC states,” commented Jamil Malik, chief operating officer of City Group.

“We selected Papercast as they were able to provide an end-to-end solution with some of the most progressive technology we have seen. Furthermore, the Papercast e-paper displays are wireless and solar-powered so we can easily install them without any power or infrastructure changes. It’s also an environmentally friendly solution.”

Papercast’s CEO, Robert Bicket, added, “We have set the standard for the region with a fully integrated solution, while demonstrating that our displays can withstand the demands of the harshest environmental conditions.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).