Kiosks to offer Jefferson bus info

Jefferson Parish bus riders will soon have a new information source for schedules and emergency alerts once kiosks are installed near bus stops throughout the parish.

Jefferson Transit Director Ryan Brown said the parish is finalizing a $109,395 contract with Kams Construction LLC to install 12 information kiosks at high traffic locations throughout the parish. The parish and contractor are finalizing the exact sites for the structures, and construction will begin as soon as that is finished.

Brown envisions the kiosks as an additional way to get information to riders quickly both during emergencies and in general. Not only will they hold changes in schedules or bus policies, but they will also be another avenue to further the agency’s efforts to improve security. The kiosks are being paid for with federal stimulus money the parish received, Brown said.

Eventually, the kiosks could be part of the real-time bus information network that Jefferson Parish is looking to install later this year, Brown said. The parish announced $400,000 in planned technology upgrades to its terminals, bus stops and buses in October.

Those upgrades, which also are funded through a federal grant, are expected to include electronic updates on bus performance and location, some of which could be accessed through barcodes on bus stops, Brown said. The parish would like its kiosks to include the same information if funding allows. Proposals on the technology upgrades will be sought in upcoming months

“As we do our research, we’re going to look at the real time and basically see how that relates to the kiosks,” Brown said.

Brown said the kiosks will be placed along routes with high ridership and in areas with heavy foot traffic.

There is a possibility that the parish will allow community groups to post notices on the kiosks as well. However, Brown said officials have not discussed adding advertising to the kiosks, similar to what the parish does with its bus benches, in an effort to generate additional revenue.

The sites under consideration for the kiosks are:

Veterans Boulevard at Lakeside Mall; Williams Boulevard at 25th Street; Veterans Boulevard at Clearview Mall; Canal Boulevard at City Park; Jefferson Highway at Ochsner Medical Center; Houma Boulevard at East Jefferson General Hospital; the Walkertown Bus Terminal; West Bank Expressway at Oakwood Mall; two kiosks at Jefferson Highway and Causeway Boulevard; and two kiosks at the Gretna Bus Terminal.

Brown said all of those locations are still subject to review and approval by the contractor.