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Bus stop information with NFC

Started by verbatim9, March 18, 2020, 21:17:17 PM

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Itnews.com.au---> Qld's TransLink to pilot NFC tags, e-ink tech at bus stops

QuoteTo provide real-time route, disruption information.
Queensland's public transit agency has begun looking at using NFC and e-paper technology to replace paper timetables and display real-time updates at bus stops across the state's south-east.

TransLink will shortly kick off two proof of concepts to test the viability of the technology to display timetables and other information such as network disruptions and service changes in real-time.

The projects, which will take place over three months earlier next year, are aimed at ensuring passengers can access up-to-date information, particularly at bus stops without information displays.

"The inability to update all timetables on the network during disruptions with real-time messages regarding temporary service changes, interruptions and other key information limits the ability to inform all customer on the network," TransLink said.

The agency is also keen to use the projects to replace the "extremely time consuming and expensive" manual practice of reproducing, installing and updating paper-based timetables. 

TransLink estimates that there are currently more than 25,000 printed bus timetables, including information on routes, maps and other marketing material, across South East Queensland's bus stop network.

The NFC PoC will investigate the potential uses of the technology to "assist centralised timetable deployment" in a bid to understand whether "active and passive" NFC tags are a viable option for a TranLink network rollout".

NFC - or near field communication - is a method of wireless data transfer that enables two devices to communicate when in close proximity to each other.

The agency is also keen to use the technology to "provide customers with access to other alert and information relevant to the specific rout or bus stop".

The e-paper PoC, on the other hand, will be focused on "support[ing] customers who do not have a mobile device to access online and real-time data".

Both solutions, which will need to be able to be installed on existing bus stop infrastructure such as signs, will pull real-time data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads using APIs.

The two projects comes as TransLink trials its next generation public transport ticketing system, which will allow commuters to use credit and debit cards and smartphones for the first time.

The first of several regional trials of the upgraded Go Card smart card system began last month with a local bus network on North Stradbroke Island.


Gave the NFC Tags a go at Palm beach last week. Just tap your NFC enabled phone and it redirects you to the Real time informaton page on the TransLink website for that corresponding stop.  It works well :)


I haven't seen the (e-paper) e-ink tech around the network as yet. Only in NSW in Newcastle.  If anyone comes across the e paper technology at bus stops? Take a pic, state the location and post it here.  Be interesting where they are testing the e-paper technology.


I'm all for the e-paper timetables (or whatever they are going to call it). I've seen it at quite a few stops in the Sydney CBD and at the airport stops too, showing real-time departures and the capacity indicator they have down there for each bus. Very handy indeed. I'd be more inclined to see a rollout over e-paper because people that can use the NFC on their smartphone can generally access the real-time data anyway, whereas you don't need a smart phone for the e-timetables. Plus it negates the need to go around to every single stop to change the timetable (as they said).


Definitely, I hope the trial points towards a e-paper/e-ink rollout. The NFC is pretty good but not everyone has a NFC enabled phone.



Question on Notice
No. 356
Asked on 30 March 2023



Will the Minister advise the total project costs for the rollout of NFC devices at Queensland bus


I thank the Member for Theodore for the question.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology provides customers simple and real-time public
transport information for each specific bus stop, all without the need for a mobile app or searching
for a stop.

The technology has been installed at all bus stops in Queensland (approximately 15,500 stops)
and enables customers to simply 'tap' their NFC enabled smartphone device to the NFC tag, and
provides greater convenience for customers using Translink's passenger transport network.

The rollout of NFC across Queensland was completed in March 2023 and the total project costs
is $1,895,495 (ex GST).
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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