Metro Transit rolls out solar-powered technology at bus stops – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It looks like e-book, but the tablet attached to the bus stop on the corner of Como Avenue and 15th Avenue Southeast provides real-time transit information powered by the sun.

Metro Transit is testing four solar-powered signs at bus stops across Minneapolis, an effort that is cheaper and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

It only takes two hours of sunshine to get the batteries charged and costs a fraction of the price of other LCDs at other stops, which costs up to $ 20,000 compared to $ 3,500 to $ 5,000 per second. installation of the solar panels, said Jacob Brown, assistant head of transit information at Metro Transit. Federal grant money funds the project.

“Everything we can do to lower energy consumption is amazing,” Brown said. “A much smaller cost and also provides the same benefit. Real-time information for our customers.”

Metro Transit tests the four signs for a year so they can experience all seasons. Boston, Portland and Seattle are other cities that are using the technology successfully, Brown said.

(Credit: CBS)

“We are always looking for new technologies that we can test to help our customers,” he added. “The big part that we really liked is that it’s smaller footprint, does not require the same infrastructure, so we can do without wired power communication.”

Should a bus stop close, the equipment can move elsewhere – but traditional wired signs cannot be removed and recycled. Each poll has a mobile modem that retrieves information from Metro Transit servers that is updated every 30 seconds to one minute.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce said the project is just one example of how solar energy has grown across the board in Minnesota over the past decade – from housing to commercial, government agencies and local government agencies.

In 2008, the state used only 1 megawatts – the unit of measurement for solar energy – compared to 1,000 megawatts 10 years later, said Michelle Gransee, director of the state’s energy office in the department.

“There are cities of all sizes in Minnesota that perform installations on their wastewater treatment plants and their educational facilities at their schools,” she said. “There’s just a wealth of opportunities there.”

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