Bus Stop Transit Signs for MTA and NY – Low Power Digital Signage

By | June 21, 2021

Scope of RFP – Low Power Digital Signage for Transit

smart city design

smart city design

This Request for Proposals is for the procurement of high contrast, low-power digital Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) signs (including ePaper or other low power display technologies) to communicate bus arrival predictions, bus route information, and alerts for Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus services. The selected vendor will design, furnish, install and maintain new solar powered and hardwired low-power digital signs for use at bus stops in New York City, as well as provide maintenance services for bus stop information digital signage, such as legacy RTPI signs and Select Bus Service (SBS) Wayfinder signs, already installed on New York City streets. These new digital signs will allow riders along bus routes access to real-time information without requiring expensive build-out of subsurface power infrastructure, for all instances where sunlight enables solar installations.

Anticipated Contract Term
The initial term of the proposed contract awarded through this RFP (the “Contract”) shall commence upon the issuance of a Notice to Proceed by NYCDOT. The initial proposed Contract term shall be for a 1,095 Consecutive Calendar Day period and may be renewed, at the Agency’s sole discretion, for one additional 730 Consecutive Calendar Day period

The Agency’s goals and objectives for this RFP are to have a working real time passenger information (RTPI) system that will have/provide the following features:

1. Reliably provide real time bus arrival information and other relevant information to bus passengers
2. Furnish and install Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) signs in a fast and cost-effective manner
3. Utilize both solar power to largely obviate the need for electrical trenching and also hardwired installation for locations where solar power is not feasible
4. Utilize a low power display that displays information intended to be read at accessible eye level
5. Retain a form factor consistent with that of the existing static bus stop signs installed in New York City
6. Function in all seasons and sunlight levels with strong battery performance
7. Be compatible with pre-existing New York City emergency information protocols to enable emergency messaging dispatch
8. Maintenance of all new and existing RTPI signs and SBS Wayfinder signs by allowing for remote diagnostics, management of the sign content and underlying firmware, technical support, and on-demand maintenance within 24 hours.

Organizational Capability
i. The vendor should have the capacity to furnish and install up to 500 new signs per year and conduct up to 30 relocations of existing signs per year, as requested by DOT.
ii. The vendor should provide an all-in-one outdoor solution whereby all hardware components are protected from total dust ingress, high water pressure from any direction, vandalism, and anti-graffiti protection.
iii. The vendor should be able to provide onsite technical support and maintenance during normal working hours.
The vendor should have the ability to remotely control digital content from a web-based centralized management interface on all screens simultaneously, and each screen independently, create and display UX/UI layouts, modify predictions, adjust schedules, and provide alert messaging The vendor should have an existing content management system (CMS) framework that allows for the customization, scheduling, monitoring, and deployment of content across the network of low power digital signage displays

Required elements:
The display must be a low power, high contrast, high DPI display, capable of being supported by solar power. The screen components must have a minimum lifespan of 10 years. The display must be placed at a height readable by all, including wheelchair users, and the content should be intended for reading close to the display. The bottom of the display should be within 15 inches and 44 inches from the ground for visibility for persons in wheelchairs. The screen must be enclosed in a single casing, vertical position, in portrait orientation. Double stack units shall be programmed to work as a single unit. The screen must have a maximum screen size of 21 inches, measured diagonally. The screen must have a minimum viewing angle of 160 degrees.

The screen must meet or exceed the current version of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, and the Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) for video, and monitor visibility. Compliance regarding readability distance shall involve the selection of sign face and character features, including background contrast, character brightness, character font selection, number of pixels per character, character aspect ratio, and number of pixels separating characters.

The screen must have high strength tempered glass to mitigate blunt force impacts due to accident or attempted vandalism. The display must have removable surface protection to serve as a barrier against vandalism, and allow screens to return to normal visibility and use. The display must have 100% UV protection to protect the display from damage in outdoor conditions. The display must be able to refresh every at a minimum of every 30 seconds, with the option to variably decrease the refresh frequency. The screen must have anti-glare technology, provide a contrast between the foreground and background of the display of 50% or more, and low sunlight reflection such that it is legible when sunlight is shining directly on the display face or when the sun is directly behind the display. The display must allow for the sequential viewing of multiple content documents such as bus arrival information, the current time, and transit updates and alerts, drawing on the MTA Bus Time data feed, at a minimum. The display should also ideally be able to display graphics, maps,
and emergency messages. The display must be bi-stable i.e. having the ability to hold an image without power. Images will not change until the appropriate electrical charge reorients the display. The display should have a conservative architecture to comply with aesthetic constraints of historic districts.

Elements at the discretion of the proposer:
The display should ideally include backlighting or other form of time-activated or motion-activated illumination to facilitate visibility during low light conditions, such that viewing distance is similar as it is during the daytime and meets or exceeds the current version of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for video and monitor visibility as stated above.

Solar Panel
The solar panel must be protected by using vandal resistant enclosure, and have weather protection from extreme cold to high heat, and have a minimum rating of IP66, or NEMA 6P. The solar panel must withstand variable inclement weather conditions i.e. rain, snow, sleet, wind, and extreme ambient temperatures low/high ranging from -25°F to 160°F and continue to function at optimal performance levels. The solar Panel must operate in accordance with
these specifications to protect against corrosion for ambient humidity up to 60% non-condensing, and provide countermeasures for humidity above 60%. The solar panel must have a minimum lifespan of 10 years and include a 10 year manufacturer warranty for defects, repairs, and replacement of components. The solar panel must be built with adjustable angles. The solar panel must be resistant to vibration from day-to-day regular street operations and nearby construction. The vendor must document impact certification for the solar panels of K4 (for vehicles 15,000 lbs. traveling 30 mph). The vendor should minimize the size of the solar panel while ensuring reliability based on the location and power demand.
d. Battery
Battery must have a minimum lifespan of 5 years, covered by warranty, and be easily replaceable by technicians in the field. The battery and power module must be sufficiently configured to reliably provide real-time information with at least 95% up-time. Service must be provided 24/7 with regular updates during daytime operations at least every 30 seconds. The battery must withstand extreme ambient temperatures ranging from -25°F to 160°F and continue to function at optimal performance levels. The battery must operate in accordance with these specifications to protect against corrosion for ambient humidity up to 60% non-condensing, and provide countermeasures for humidity above 60%. The battery must be rechargeable via solar power and maintain optimal level of performance through the day. The battery must be capable of maintaining stored voltage during all climate conditions, particularly in the typical low and high temperatures of New York City. The battery must be able to maintain a charge long enough to keep the sign on through the duration of one winter season in New York (November 1 to April 1).
e. Power Module
The power module must be configured to provide efficient charging under low-light conditions. On devices powered by solar power, the power module must have a solar charge controller to maximize battery performance under low light conditions, and still perform at a minimum very high energy efficiency of 90%. The system must tolerate a voltage variation of up to 90V.