Metro rolls out touch screen displays

WASHINGTON — Call it hands-on advertising. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has installed several new 72-inch interactive touch screen displays, which not only display advertisements, but also offer information to riders.

“They have a lot of useful information for our riders who want to figure out how to get around in the system,” said WMATA spokeswoman Sherri Ly.

The screens offer everything from real-time train information to area maps and detailed information on all the stations in the system.

The displays are part of a three- to six-month pilot group with OUTFRONT media, which has already seen success with the boards in New York City.

“The great thing is this isn’t costing Metro anything,” Ly said.

In addition to station information, the display boards rotate ads. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)
In addition to station information, the display boards rotate ads. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

The main job of the displays is to rotate ads every eight seconds. The screens also give advertisers flexibility when it comes to when and where their ads are seen.

“The money that these ads generate also helps to keep those fares down, because it goes to bus and rail operations,” Ly said.

There are ten screens operating at eight Metrorail stations along the Metro system. The eight stations are Gallery Place, Metro Center, Farragut North, Farragut West, Foggy Bottom, Pentagon, Federal Triangle and Capitol South.

Metro also has the ability to use the boards to convey important information to riders during an emergency situation.

If the pilot program is successful, the program could be expanded to include other stations.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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