Use of Electronic Passenger Information Signage in Transit

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - north america, planning - signage/information


Information display systems, Passenger information systems, Public transit, Signs, State of the practice, Variable message signs


This synthesis documents the state of the practice on the use of electronic passenger information signage using the following five elements: underlying technology, sign technology, characteristics of the information, resources required, and decision process used to determine its use. While agencies seem to be taking full advantage of almost universal access to the Internet and high mobile phone ownership rates to provide their information through these media, providing information by means of electronic signs is seen to provide an added benefit to users. It is easier to look at the sign than getting out a mobile device, opening up the application, and searching for the information. A review of the literature revealed a wealth of information, covering both U.S. and international experience, which is reported in detail. The survey conducted as part of this synthesis, covering the five elements mentioned earlier, was sent to 37 transit agencies around the world and 37 responses were received, a 100% response rate. Case examples offer more in-depth detailed information about practices at the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, Real-Time Information Group in the United Kingdom, the Chicago Transit Authority in Illinois, and Mobility Lab in Virginia.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.