York Transit Relaunches Digital Screens

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

York Region Transit in Ontario, one of Canada’s largest transit networks, and Byte Media Inc., have announced the recent re-launch of their on-bus Digital Media and News Network.

Signs first launched in 2006, and were fairly static in their content (only updating daily). They ran for one year. Byte and YRT choose to re-architect the solution and make it real time, location-based, and more ruggedized with a re-launch first seen last September. Buses operate on average 18 hrs per day.

The screens on the York Region Transit VIVA Line are mobile powered by Rogers Wireless, Rocket Internet Sticks, and provide Canada’s only on-bus digital advertising network with Real Time news. The 26” LCD digital screens on the buses broadcast news, business reports, celebrity news, weather and sports. The screens reach close to 1,000,000 million riders a month with targeted range of commuters, high school students, university/college students and business professionals.

The rugged screens have a metal frame to make them more vandalproof, and this frame is cushioned to provide shock absorbency to the LCD as the bus travels down the road. The computers are small form-factor, DC based PC’s with 3G connectivity that allows the digital signage to receive data from a central content management server which pushes out news, stock markets, weather, in addition to advertising – and, soon, transit alerts.

Byte Media is selling the advertising with a combination of its own local sales force for regional ads as well as though national agencies.

Advertisers have included Rogers Wireless, Pizza Pizza, St Louis Bar & Grill, York Region Tourism, Breakaway Tours, Firkin Group of Pubs, Meineke Car Care, Seneca College, Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Wrigleys, Hunter Douglas and local automobile dealerships to name a few.

Two other major campaigns are pending and are expected to be closed shortly.

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