1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with LECIP (Singapore) Pte Ltd to install the Smart Bus Stop Passenger Information Display at 11 bus stops island-wide. Also known as E-paper display, this medium will leverage on a new emerging technology to display the information.
Technology for Bus Stop Displays
2. Currently, the bus stop displays which show the bus arrival timings are based on the LED (Light Emitting Diodes) technology. The LED displays used are modular and suitable for text and simple graphic display only. It has reduced visibility under strong sunlight, and is reliable on power supply.
3. An alternative display medium that could be considered is the 32” coloured electronic paper, E-paper. E-paper allows for paper-like displays with great visibility in any conditions. It relies on low energy consumption and can serve as a standalone module powered only by solar panels, with battery backup as an option. This minimises civil work as there is flexibility in installation. E-paper displays can either be self-standing, or mounted on existing display panels. (Refer to Annex A for illustrations).
Benefits of E-Displays for Bus Stops
4. E-paper displays for bus stops technology hold several advantages over the current LED displays:
a. Environmentally Friendly
An E-paper display is about 36 times more energy-efficient than a similar sized LED display. The benefit would therefore be a big reduction in energy consumption and carbon footprint, making it more environmentally friendly
E-paper display mimics the appearance of ink on paper and reflects light, as opposed to emitted light from LED. It therefore offers enhance visibility under full sunlight. Its 180-degrees viewing angle allows commuters to clearly read the bus arrival information from more angles. Under low-light conditions, low-powered front-lit lighting drawing power from the solar panel will continue to display the information.
c. Standalone Deployment Mode
With little infrastructure need and its reliance only on solar power, E-paper displays can be deployed at bus stops where there are insufficient sources of power. It uses wireless communication to display bus arrival information. E-paper displays are also lightweight, which further facilitates easy deployment.
E-paper display has a rugged housing featuring a tempered glass, which protects it from acts of vandalism, moisture and UV radiation. This reduces the maintenance work needed, as compared to the current LED glass panels which are not as strong.
Deployment and Trial Period
5. Eleven bus stops have been selected for this pilot trial. (Refer to Annex B for the locations.) Installation of the E-paper displays have started in January 2016 and will complete by March 2016.
6. At the completion of the 12-month trial, LTA will evaluate the results of this project and study if the scheme can be applied to other locations. The evaluation parameters will include the readability of the coloured E-paper displays under strong sunlight, and the feasibility of solar energy as a source of power.