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Advantages of Integrated Passenger Information Systems

One of the main issues many urban areas face is the increasing growth in vehicle ownership, greatly impacting traffic levels. The challenge of sustainability, in this respect, is focused on shifting the demand for mobility from personal cars to mass transportation, in which case buses and other forms of public transport form key elements of a more sustainable and efficient public transit system. Real-time passenger information systems and integrated LED signs, as well as passenger counting systems are essential in order to get from point A to point B. Studies consistently show that these transit information systems play major roles in improving the user experience, in addition to providing critical data to the transit agency, especially in busy cities where people rely heavily on buses and other forms of mass transit.

One of the main things public transit providers should realize about passenger information systems, is that there is distinctive need for visual, as well as audible, information to be transmitted to the ridership through integrated LED signs, and passenger information systems, especially now that people expect real-time information on demand. The onslaught of digital technology and mobile devices has resulted in a growing demand for instantaneous information delivery. Passenger counting on public transit has a significant impact on the management of services agencies need to understand user growth. Transfer station signs and bus signs assist in the coordination, as well as the many mobile apps available to riders. The value that passenger information systems offer when it comes to trip planning cannot be discounted, which is why transit agencies should seriously consider investing in these solutions as a compliment application to integrated LED signs in order to better manage their fleet and improve their services.

There are many benefits to implementing a powerful passenger information system. Most important, passenger information systems are extremely versatile tools that can be used to deliver information through a wide variety of devices and platforms. Apart from intelligent transportation or transit system, integrated LED signs and transit stop announcement boards, head signs, annunciators, and other on-board devices, these systems can also feed information to telephone IVR services, SMS text services, web enabled devices, and transfer stations signs.

This control over information enables agencies to increase ridership. This is also true for riders challenged with disabilities, since knowing transit schedules and having stops automatically announced make an important deciding factor as they choose between transit options. Intelligent passenger information systems rely on accurate data gathered through different sources, like mobile data terminals and automated vehicle location updates, to ensure that real-time information is passed on to passengers.

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Digital Signage and Transit Signage Benefits

Digital transportation signage is a revolutionary tool in public spaces. These signs help to inform and direct passengers while keeping them from missing their transportation schedules. Transit signage is an efficient means of providing real-time communications, especially onboard city buses and tour buses, as well as in transit stations where thousands of people gather every day. If you have yet to implement digital transit signs in your transit facility, here are reasons why you should seriously consider investing in them:

  • Digital signs display accurate and real-time information. Delays and changes in schedules are inevitable in transit environments. Digital signs enable accurate, real-time information delivery to reflect these changes and allow passengers to make the necessary adjustments to their travel plans in order to keep their schedule on track. Real-time information from transportation signage makes it is easier for people to decide on alternative steps to avoid delays in their travel plans.
  • Transit signage distracts people’s minds from long queues, alleviating perceived wait times. Simply seeing long lines at the check-in counter or ticketing booth can heighten the frustrations of passengers. This results in less than pleasant travel experiences and angry travelers, which can reflect negatively on your business. Strategically placed digital signs will keep people informed and entertained, notify them how long the wait time will be from a specific point to the checkpoint counter, and keep them informed about important announcements that might affect their travel.
  • You can display more information on digital transport signage than other forms of signs. Not only can you display and share information in real-time, you can also keep changing the display or put any number of announcements on loop in a single digital board. You can display trip schedules, delays and cancellations, arrival and departure times, travel guides, emergency reports, important announcements, and even promotions and entertainment, which provides an additional revenue source.

Overall, transit signage can enhance the travel experience by easing travel’s common stressors and providing an informative distraction for passengers while they wait on trip schedules. There are many ways in which digital signs can enhance travel experiences, such as displaying educational videos not only about how the transit system works, but also about the surrounding area. Displaying the news or showing movies can also help make wait times go by faster as travelers become engrossed in an immersive experience through digital signs. Transit signage can truly make travelling more pleasurable and much less stressful.

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Vintage Bus Signs Emerge as a Leading Design Trend

Vintage bus signs are great for use as decorative elements in many different locations. Old bus signs evoke fantastic memories of the past, and although they have been widely replaced by LED bus signs in modern transit vehicles, some are still being used to serve their classic purpose or as promotional tools.

Did you know that vintage bus signs were often times made out of linen rolls, many of which were produced by hand on screen printed material? By the late 1980s, modern materials like Mylar appeared on the scene, making bus blinds stronger and more durable. Machine-produced blinds ruled the decade following, until digital solutions began surfacing on the market. Today, computerized electronic displays rule most of the heavy duty market, but don’t think that roller curtains are being left behind. They are still sought after because of their price point. However, designers are finding a great use for the old used curtains, as they are widely being procured for decorative purposes in homes and commercial establishments.

Even now that LED bus signs are dominating the public transport scene, there is still a fairly broad market for vintage style bus signs and destination blinds. Not only are these vintage bus signs still installed on buses, trolleys and streetcars because of their branding versatility, but they are a popular and trendy choice for home and commercial space decor, they are also widely used for promotional purposes because they can be customized with logos and other images that LEDs can’t replicate. In the world of interior design, however, vintage roller curtain bus sign material make excellent conversation pieces when used as decorative tools in organizations large and small.

Curtain signs can add a vintage look to any space. If you are into collecting vintage bus signs, there are many individuals that sell old roller curtain sign material and even offer custom services to help you create the look you want to achieve in your design.

Today, bus companies and sign makers have upgraded to more modern means of visual communication, such as roller curtain bus signs with automated or digitized scrolling displays. These signs are widely used for all kinds of purposes, ranging from destination displays, branding and PR, advertising, and general information—all while keeping the classic appeal of authentic rolling signs. Whether you are looking for vintage bus signs for decorative use or as a classic nod to technologies of the past, these signs make a great choice.

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Trump’s Call for Infrastructure Rebuilding – A Progressive Opportunity or A Visionary Impossibility?

In his most recent State of the Union Address, President Trump called upon Congress to get a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill underway in hopes of breathing life back into one of his campaign promises. The president’s infrastructure rebuilding plan is expected to be a major component of his administration’s 2018 agenda, seeking to meet two major goals:
The rebuilding of US infrastructure and the speeding up of permit approval processes.

Critics say that Trump’s proposal lacked significant policy details, such as how exactly the $1.5 trillion budget will be spent and how the White House should pay for the package should the bill materialize. The president, however, didn’t waste the opportunity to sell the idea to both the public and the lawmakers, seeing as how the campaign promise has been consistently sidetracked by other GOP priorities like health care and taxes. Trump had initially promised to initiate a plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, transport depots, and other public works early in his term in office.

Capitol Hill expects more comprehensive legislative principles in the next few weeks. Talks about a plan amounting to at least $1.7 trillion have been passed around, with local governments and the private sector likely to be picking up the larger part of the tab. The administration’s plan would take $200 billion in federal funding and use it to raise at least a trillion dollars worth of infrastructure investment, mainly by offering incentives to local governments and those in the private sector who agree to back transportation projects.

A leaked draft of the administration’s plan that surfaced several weeks ago stated that 50 percent of the funding would be allotted to the incentive program, which will reward cities and states that raise revenue for infrastructure. The plan would also loosen federal restrictions on tolling and remove limitations on public/private transit system partnerships.

Trump said during his speech that the proposal would be paired with permit reform to significantly reduce regulatory roadblocks and shrink down the construction approval process to no longer than one to two years.

We are all anxiously awaiting the final plan. Stay tuned…

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Transign’s Technology Boosts Public Transportation Services throughout North America

Transign is the industry leader in providing advanced technology signage products that have revolutionized the transit industry for over 55 years. These products have been widely popular and adopted by all the leading bus dealers, transit agencies, and fleet operators across the United States and Canada.

Transign products have been widely adopted in North America, helping to boost public transportation services across the continent. They offer transit agencies an affordable solution to increase ridership, improve service and communication, and run more efficiently to optimize revenue. The products help greatly in modernizing the way people travel and access information while they reach their destinations conveniently. Transign assists transit operators in offering their passengers with the best in class services.

Transign also provides a wide range of intelligent transit systems that help to improve operational performance and enhance mobility and convenience for travelers, ensuring that passengers are quickly and efficiently transported to their destinations. Transign’s technology enhances LED Destination services, Roller curtain signs, Bus signs, Run number boxes, Stop Request signs, and the recently launched LED Destinator EnCompass.

Speaking of their products, Jamie Lipka, Transign’s President said, "It’s essential we provide new technological features to our growing population and pass it along to the next generation, our millennials. We are excited to offer and support smart transit technology, with our value-add, customizable, affordable products for the public transit industry. We are enhancing public transportation services throughout the country and provide superior travel experiences to passengers while helping transportation providers intensify operator and vehicle safety. Transign’s goal is, and always has been, to make public transit systems in North America convenient for both the passengers, as well as the transit operators. "

About Transign
Transign has been a leading provider of LED destination signs, run number boxes, roller curtain signs and passenger information systems since 1959. Transign currently serves hundreds of agencies and private shuttle services alike in both the United States and Canada and prides itself on being one of the most highly recommended and endorsed transit signage providers in the industry today.

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LED Destinator EnCompass Sign System Services

Transign has been providing the transit industry with high-quality, long-lasting transit signage for almost 6 decades, and now bring about innovation in transportation signage with our LED Destinator EnCompass replace with Series. Harnessing the power of technology, our LED Destinator EnCompass™ uses hands-free control options which change all interior and exterior signage according to the change to geolocation of the bus. The driver is then able to comfortably attend to roads, stops and onboard passengers without the distraction of having to change messages periodically. Travel is thus safer.

Technology is the harbinger of change, and we believe in using it to revolutionize the way the transit industry operates. Travelers and Transit companies stand to gain from our advancements through automation and focus on passenger, operator and vehicle safety.

Get the LED Destinator EnCompass™ edge

Affordable and Efficient
The LED Destinator EnCompass™ system is affordable and will allow you to offer passengers enhanced services through better communication throughout the bus, as well as messaging directly to their PDA or cell phone. Such efficiency will result in increased ridership and better revenues. Configurable via a secure web interface with pre-set routes, interest points, and landmarks, these transit signs will allow you to display custom messages at each desired geolocation trigger point. Route updates are also applied automatically to each device wirelessly at chosen intervals. The optional 3G/cellular dispatch system can remotely assign message updates, detours, and stop changes, and provides instant communication between drivers and dispatch operations.

Safe and efficient
Safety is at the core of this technology. As messaging is driven by automation, drivers can focus on their core task – driving. Without the distraction and botheration of having to change messages periodically. Driving gets safer even as your transit agency acquires the good reputation of delivering accurate messaging and transporting passengers safely. Efficiently too, as passengers get real time route information and fewer service interruptions caused by equipment failure or human error.

Superior travel experience

With this system, travel will become a pleasure for your passengers. The destination/route information is clear, accurate and timely. It enables the synchronization of interior messages, next stop announcements and more. Agencies now have an opportunity to generate additional revenue through merchant advertising in the vicinity of each bus stop, triggered by its geolocation. Other exciting features include an Automated Voice Announcement, Passenger Counting and GPS/AVL Tracking

In keeping with the times

The transportation industry today has new and effective means for displaying information that is essential for the daily traveler. New technology innovations have added to the entire traveling experience and have made it more passenger-oriented with advanced passenger information systems
For more than 55 years we have provided the transit industry with high quality, durable destination signs, complimented by a reputation of superior customer service and support. Transign was founded by James Youngblood in 1959 with a commitment to “Quality Products backed by Quality Customer Service” and rapidly became the established market leader in a variety of innovative products for the transit industry.

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Transign to Exhibit at CTAA’s 2017 Community Transportation EXPO

Transign is thrilled to be exhibiting at the Community Transportation Association of America’s 2017 Community Transportation EXPO, held next week in Detroit, Michigan, and showcase its newest product, the LED Destinator EnCompass™, a GPS-based, hands-free message system to improve route communication and passenger safety.

The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) is a national, nonprofit membership association advocating for mobility for all Americans. The Community Transportation EXPO, CTAA’s annual conference, is the confluence of the community transportation field.

This year’s conference is appropriately named Mobility Rising. The need for verifying forms of mobility choices and the outcome from those choices has never been greater than it is now, and are a concern for cities and communities across the country. This is the first year the EXPO will be held in Michigan, and Transign is excited to have the EXPO in our own backyard and we are proud to support the CTAA and all of its efforts to further mobility in America.

Matthew Welbes, Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will kick off the conference with the Opening Luncheon on Tuesday, June 13th, and will provide an update on FTA activities and initiatives. Then on Wednesday, June 14th, Shannon Bouton, Chief Operating Officer, McKinsey Center for Business and Environment and Mark de la Vergne, Chief of Mobility Innovation at the City of Detroit will present the Keynote Session: The Future of Mobility. In addition to these presentations, the conference features five tracks full of interesting and informative sessions, as well as roundtables, endless networking opportunities, tours and finishes with a bang at the Big Night Out Event, which will be held at the historic Henry Ford Museum.

If you’re attending the EXPO this year, please make sure and come to the EXPO Trade Show and visit us at Booth 532. Several events are planned for the Trade Show this year including the Grand Opening Reception from 5 - 7pm on Tuesday, June 13th and the EXPO 2017 Trade Show Continental Breakfast from 7:00 – 8:30am and the Community Transportation Trade Fair and Luncheon from 12pm – 3pm on Wednesday, June 14th.

For more information on the CTAA 2017 Community Transportation EXPO, visit the CTAA EXPO website here.

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How Millennials are Growing and Shaping the Transit World

Who are the Millennials?

The largest and the most diverse generation in American history, the Millennial Generation are those born between 1982 and 2003.

How are Millennials influencing the transit world?

  • According to US PIRG’s report, “A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future.”
  • This generation finds public transportation the best for digital socializing
  • They work as they travel, a trend noted by 40% of those polled.
  • Reasons and motivations for transportation choices are pragmatic, with 46% stating that a need to save money drives their decisions; 46% also note convenience, 44% want to exercise, and 35% say they live in a community where it just makes more sense to use transit. With the car ownership rate for people between the ages of 18 – 34 down over 30% compared to generations past Millennials tend to use the most convenient mode of transportation available to them at any given time.

In short they want a free and convenient lifestyle, and technology to help them become more efficient.

How should Transit related businesses react to Millennials?

Advancements in technology and multiple choices of transportation methods are catering to this vast and flexible demographic. Businesses that understand the importance of convenience and build upon their technology base while also realizing that Millennials are a lifestyle (not a demographic) and are the ones with a healthy future. Moving forward, that needs to be catered to for success.

Current Moves in the Transit destination Sign business

Connected devices

The bus stop sign is a LED display installed at bus stops that provide arrival times of approaching buses to waiting passengers. Details may include line number, destination, and arrival time. Some bus stop display models are also able to display additional messages and full matrix graphics. An optional button-activated audio voice announcement system is also available. The bus stop displays can also be integrated with a fleet management system and updated in real time. Connection options include both wired and wireless communication.

Integrated Passenger Information Systems

This system is designed to provide passengers with information on weather and route change etc. They allow passengers to monitor and plan schedules and to communicate and report issues to management.
LED Bus Signs (interior and exterior)

Interior facing LED signs communicate to existing passengers hazard alerts and inclement weather warnings. Also safety practices and regulations with driver interaction or distraction. Exterior facing bus signs communicate with waiting passengers and potential clients, also with other drivers, pedestrians, and potentially law enforcement agencies. An emergency button/panic switch “silent alarm” activates the exterior signs to read EMERGENCY CALL 911 and can alert dispatch operations and emergency services.

Integrated Safety Systems

Integrated safety systems provide a comprehensive capture of safety events on transit vehicles giving agencies faster insights into risk and better tools to protect passengers and the public.

Smartphone Devices

Intelligent Transportation Systems with GPS that track and monitor buses display real-time vehicle location and allow passengers to plan their trips and wait times accordingly. Real-time information such as this satisfies Millennial’s technology demands. Not only do public transport companies need to meet this consumer demand, but are also competing with UBER’s availability and smartphone application, so signage companies need to keep up with this dynamism.
WiFi and GPS systems

Millennials are driving the transit signage industry with key behavioral showings like Wi-Fi requirement for their laptops and mobile phones as they work during their commute. There is also an increase in ridership and pedestrian traffic amongst their generation calling for energetic and purposeful transit signage.

Contact Transign for your destination sign

For more than 55 years Transign has provided the transit industry with high quality, durable destination signs backed by superior customer service. Founded by James Youngblood in 1959 with a commitment to “Quality Products supported by Quality Customer Service.” Transign rapidly became the established market leader in a variety of innovative products for the transit industry.

Areas of Expertise

  • Interior and exterior LED destination and passenger information signs.
  • Automated voice announcements.
  • Geo-location tracking and message delivery.
  • Smart device passenger information applications.
  • Passenger counting solutions.
  • Dynamic reporting tools
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Passenger Safety on Public Transit: A Growing Concern

Though passenger safety regulations’ controlled by FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and APTA (American Public Transportation Association) have mandated maximum occupancy, proper installation and safety techniques for equipment, and appropriate communication of passenger safety regulations, passenger safety on America’s public Transit is still lacking on many fronts.

Public Transit: Fraught with dangers

  • Very poor communication of passenger safety rules.
  • Stationary signs are crowded, unnoticed, and ineffective.
  • Drivers have many other responsibilities, and cannot relay safety information or stop information to each passenger without causing other hazards.

As a result of these inadequacies implementing automated systems are becoming the standard way to deal with increased passenger expectations and the rise in traffic, congestion, and other road vulnerabilities.

These systems are wide ranged and comprehensive to include Intelligent Transit Systems, Integrated Passenger Information Systems, LED Bus Signs, Automated voice announcements, visible indicators and sensors for pedestrians “pedestrian safety” and LED Stop Signs.

What are Intelligent Transit Systems (ITS)?

  • GPS-guided and automated they function to reduce driver distraction.
  • Alert drivers and dispatch to maintenance, safety, or equipment issues.

How can LED bus signs enhance your passengers’ safety and overall experience?

Integrated Passenger Information Systems

  • Display schedule, weather, and route changes.
  • Allow passengers to monitor and plan schedules.
  • Allow passengers to communicate and report issues to management.

LED bus signs (interior and exterior)

  • Interior facing to communicate to existing passengers.
  • Can include hazard alerts and inclement weather warnings.
  • Communicates safety practices and regulations with driver interaction or distraction.

Exterior facing to communicate with waiting passengers and potential clients

Also communicates with other drivers, pedestrians, and potential law enforcement
An emergency button/panic switch “silent alarm” activates the exterior signs to read EMERGENCY CALL 911 and can alert dispatch operations and emergency services.

Automated voice announcements (AVA)

  • Ensures all communication is easily seen and or/heard.
  • Ensures disabled, blind, and elderly passengers receive full communication.
  • Automated by GPS or other specific triggers with little or no driver involvement

External indicators and sensors for pedestrians “pedestrian safety”

  • Can announce and flash to pedestrians to avoid bus traffic.
  • Can alert driver to pedestrians in vehicle route.
  • Activated by turn signal.

LED stop sign

  • Can be used to increase safety for all drivers, especially school buses and paratransit vehicles without clearly marked stops.
  • Can trigger automatically based on vehicle proximity to stop.
  • Can visually and audibly warn passengers that the vehicle will be stopping prior to brakes being applied.

Contact Transign for your destination sign

For more than 55 years Transign has provided the transit industry with high quality, durable destination signs backed by superior customer service. Founded by James Youngblood in 1959 with a commitment to “Quality Products supported by Quality Customer Service.” Transign rapidly became the established market leader in a variety of innovative products for the transit industry.

Areas of Expertise

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Onboard Communication: More than Just ADA Compliance

As we mentioned previously in Universal Integration – Simplicity in Operation, the connected devices of an ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) work together to increase safety and efficiency by simplifying the roles of maintenance, directors, and operators. The benefit to passengers, however, goes far beyond these “bottom line” conversations and enters the realms of public safety, accessibility, and basic human needs. While all passengers benefit from good communication and a well-maintained fleet, those with disabilities require additional services and hardware in order to navigate the transportation system. By connecting multiple devices to a central Mobile Data Terminal (MDT), these additional services are relatively easy to provide, and will help to increase passenger comfort, safety, and ultimately ridership.

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 specifies a number of required devices for each transit vehicle operating medium-to-large fixed routes—so many that bus operators have a hard time maintaining all the systems and announcements that are required. Many transit agencies are discovering the benefits of integrated software solutions and ITS to help manage these services. All connected devices, including LED Destination signs, interior passenger information displays, stop requested signs/chimes and voice announcements will operate from one central MDT to incorporate GPS and automate displayed messages and announcements.

The ADA requires a Public Address System / Passenger Information System for “vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length, used in multiple-stop, fixed-route service.”This passenger information system “shall be equipped with a public address system permitting the driver, or recorded or digitized human speech messages, to announce stops and provide other passenger information within the vehicle.” With integrated automated voice announcements, location or time based information can be easily delivered to on-board passengers or those waiting at stops. Pedestrian safety alerts, such as “bus approaching” can be enabled at busy intersections or crosswalks. While intended to offer services to the vision-impaired, voice announcements increase communication with all riders and can be used to build public relations or branding/advertisement campaigns, as well.

The ADA also specifies that “where passengers may board or alight at multiple stops at their option, vehicles in excess of 22 feet in length shall provide controls adjacent to the securement location for requesting stops and which alerts the driver that a mobility aid user wishes to disembark. Such a system shall provide auditory and visual indications that the request has been made.” By integrating Stop Request signs with the public address system, the simple chime now becomes a full Next Stop Announcement platform. Visual indicators, such as interior information signs, can display not only that a stop was requested, but specifically which stop or intersection it is approaching, assisting hearing impaired passengers in route planning and accuracy. Chime systems and other audible indicators will not only announce that a stop is approaching, but specify which stop/intersection, or other safety announcements such as “watch your step” or “exit rear”. A simple stop request system is now a public relations tool, suitable for localized marketing/advertisement, and customizable to ensure that your organization’s most impactful messages are always being heard and/or seen.

To complete the integrated onboard communication package, fleets should also incorporate their exterior destination signs. The ADA stipulates that “where destination or route information is displayed on the exterior of a vehicle, each vehicle shall have illuminated signs on the front and boarding side of the vehicle.” By using LED Destination signs, such as the LED Destinator™ by Transign™, the front and side readings can be programmed to each display different messages. Most commonly, these signs display the approaching stop, and are manually controlled by the vehicle operator; however, by combining destination signs with public address systems, automated voice announcements, next stop announcements, and interior displays, there is no limit to the amount or type of information that can be delivered—and all with the safety and reliability of an automated GPS-based system.

The Transign LED EnCompass™ system is designed to provide a fully automated fleet management solution by offering LED Destination Signs (for front, side, or rear), route boxes, emergency button systems, interior LED and LCD displays, next stop announcements and stop requests, and automated interior and exterior voice announcements as one customizable package. The Transign LED EnCompass™ will not only satisfy your ADA compliance, but will provide a platform on which to build a personalized and customized experience for your riders. If your agency is already using a GPS-based ITS software, Transign™ can offer integration-ready LED signs and other hardware solutions that will communicate with third-party MDTs via J1708/J1587 or RS232/RS485.

While ADA compliance is the minimum standard, we all strive for safer, more efficient transit systems. Back-up cameras, emergency buttons and communication tools, pedestrian safety alerts, and even inclement weather announcements are just a few of the services that connected passengers have come to expect from modern-day transit providers and operators. Since the ADA of 1990, technology has improved such that no passenger, regardless of ability, should struggle with understanding transit systems or feel unsafe while traveling. Transign remains dedicated to providing cutting-edge solutions to increase utilization of our transit systems, and to ensuring the safest and most efficient experience for passengers and operators alike.

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