NSW Transport trials beacons to improve public transport access

Transport for New South Wales is requesting submissions to be made on how beacon technology currently being trialled at Chatswood train station can be used.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Transport for NSW is currently calling for submissions around ideas on how Bluetooth-enabled beacon technology can be used to improve public transport access.

The Beacon Challenge comes following a separate six-week trial currently under way at Chatswood train station and bus interchange in Sydney, New South Wales, where more than 70 Bluetooth beacons have been installed.

Beacons have been designed to emit low-energy signals via Bluetooth, and can be picked up by mobile applications.

According to Tony Braxton-Smith, deputy secretary of Customer Service, the trial aims to help customers with vision impairment navigate between trains, buses, and places of interest in and adjacent to the interchange by sending location signals to a mobile phone, which gives the customer audio cues.

Braxton-Smith said he is open to submissions that will be able to make use of the network of beacons that have been set up at Chatswood.

"We're always looking for new ways to deliver better information, products, and services to our customers, and we want to work closely with the technology industry and entrepreneurs to see what they can come up with," Braxton-Smith said.

He said other potential uses could include providing customers with information about their next train service or how to find their way from the train to the bus.

"We are open to any and all ideas that will improve our customers' experience catching public transport. We're keen to see how far this technology can go," he said.

The Beacon Challenge forms part of the NSW government's Future Transport 12-month program focused on looking at how technologies can be used by government and customers to plan, build, and use transport.

The best submissions will be given access to the trial beacon network from October 10 to November 13.

Updated 8.44am 22 August 2016: Additional information was including regarding the beacon trial at Chatswood station.

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