Growth Mode For @TransitScreen

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

We’ve been watching the three-year-old company TransitScreen, which is slowly expanding its transit wayfinding product across the US and Canada.

City of Seattle Transit Screen

Unveiling of City of Seattle Transit Screen

The company, headquartered in Washington, D.C., with an office in San Francisco and a staff of 12, offers information on screens about every conceivable transportation’s information (except airplanes).

Depending on the local transport, viewers can check on the real-time wayfinding for the next train, bus, subway, trolley, ferry, as well as walking time to the closest stop, and also for taxi stands, Uber and even bicycle stands.

The company can now support data for five new urban markets, including: Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Montreal, Phoenix and St. Louis, bringing to 30 the total number of cities where screens can go up. Of that 30, there are screens up now in 18 of those markets. The five cities were chosen to round out TransitScreen’s list of North American cities where new transit-oriented developments are landing. In Phoenix, TransitScreen’s Matt Caywood co-founder and CEO, recently participated in open data planning sessions, facilitated by Mayor Greg Stanton.

MIT School of Engineering

MIT School of Engineering

TransitScreens are in and can be installed in residential buildings, universities, museums, office building lobbies, hotels, coffee shops, and can even be put on a sidewalk with a new product, SmartWalk. And the information can also end up on computers and on mobile.

“We are on a variety of screens and currently have 50 paying clients,” says Ryan Croft, co-founder and COO.

In March, TransitScreen raised $600,000 in Angel funding to help it along. The company had grown out of a government R&D project three years ago, but only started commercializing its product in 2013.

Screen at Avison Young, Toronto

Screen at Avison Young, Toronto

Of screens currently up, about 95% don’t have advertising, but the possibility is there for monetization. Weather information can also be included so, eg, an office worker going out for lunch might be wise to carry an umbrella.

The co-founders have quite divergent backgrounds: Caywood is a neuroscientist and Croft was in enterprise software.

Caywood was recently invited to Dubai to give a course on Open Transportation Data to the Roads and Transport Authority, with the course’s aim to help help advance the Dubai Smart City Intelligent Transportation Systems master plan, facilitated by TransitScreen’s partner Transpo Group.

Croft will also be traveling to the UK next month on behalf of the company. The trip will focus on TransitScreen’s opportunities in the UK, its first entry into the EU. Between London and Bristol, he will meet with city officials, real estate owners, Fortune 500 corporations, sustainable transportation experts, and investors.

“We see the UK as a logical entry point to European markets,” said Croft. “The demand is high. The transportation choices are diverse. London and Bristol are great cities for public transit and the perfect location for TransitScreen to help residents and visitors make informed transportation choices.

“Everyone is a commuter in some shape or form,Whether by bus, train, bike, foot or car, we are all commuters. TransitScreen is creating a worldwide standard for real-time transportation information that will be accessible wherever someone is looking for it.”

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