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Miami deploys informational signs to enhance public transportation experience

Start-up Soofa is installing its signs at two Metromover stations to provide real-time transportation updates and community-generated content for riders and tourists in Miami.

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The solar-powered digital Soofa Signs located near the Metromover Brickell Station
The solar-powered digital Soofa Signs located near the Metromover Brickell Station

Miami-Dade County has announced it is upgrading its smart city infrastructure with new interactive informational signs for public transit systems.

 

Soofa, a female-founded start-up out of the MIT Media Lab, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), is installing its signs at two Metromover stations to provide real-time transportation updates and other content for riders and tourists in Miami.

 

Community groups

 

In 2018, Soofa was named a winner of Ford Mobility’s City:One Challenge Miami-Dade (formerly known as the City of Tomorrow Challenge), a crowdsourcing platform for residents, businesses and community groups to propose and pilot solutions that improve mobility in Miami-Dade County.

 

Two of the solar-powered digital Soofa Signs will be located near the Metromover Brickell Station and a third one at the Government Centre Station. Project expansion includes additional Metromover stations.

 

“Using cutting-edge technology like the Soofa Signs will improve the efficiency and connectivity of the County’s public transit system,” said Alice Bravo, director, DTPW.

 

“Our first priority is making sure our riders feel they can expect a smooth, safe, and enjoyable journey; and we’re excited to use the Soofa Signs to continue to improve the rider experience.”

 

Once the Soofa Signs are activated, Miami-Dade Transit riders will be able to view information like real-time transportation updates, community-generated content, health and safety guidelines, local news, and more.

“As we seek to connect communities in sustainable and social ways, ensuring that public transportation is safe, accessible, and convenient to all is critical in that mission”

Additionally, the signs can engage users with poll questions relevant to the community while providing Miami-Dade residents and visitors with transportation resources that can assist them in becoming more familiar with the transit services.

 

In conjunction with DTPW, Soofa will conduct user testing, field studies, and online surveys to identify the features that residents and Miami-Dade Transit passengers care about most.

 

Through interviews, research, and observation, Soofa said it will assess the improvement in transit rider experience at the stops and stations where the signs are installed while continuing to iterate on product features to ensure the technology benefits all Miami-Dade Transit riders.

 

Transit rider experience

 

The signs will be wrapped in a full-colour vinyl highlighting local attractions near each of the Metromover stops, providing wayfinding assistance to Metromover riders when they reach their destination. Users will be able to easily interact with the informational digital display through an online, self-service platform called Soofa Talk without having to touch the screen.

 

“As we seek to connect communities in sustainable and social ways, ensuring that public transportation is safe, accessible, and convenient to all is critical in that mission,” Sandra Richter, Soofa’s co-founder and CEO

 

“We’re looking forward to collaborating with Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works and working towards solutions with them to make the rider experience even better on Miami-Dade Transit.”

 

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