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Internet / Municipal government / Transportation

In Park Slope they’ve turned the LinkNYC kiosks into bus countdown clocks

Councilman Brad Lander saw a good opportunity to use the existing kiosks for an additional use.

Cybersecurity. (Photo by Flickr user West Point - The U.S. Military Academy, used under a Creative Commons license)

Could the WiFi kiosks that continue to dot the city double as bus countdown clocks?

Down in Park Slope a trial is underway to do just that, led by City Councilman Brad Lander.

“The Links [LinkNYC kiosks] came to Park Slope over the last year and so many of them are located close to bus stops and they have all kinds of fun facts,” the councilman said by phone Thursday. “A lightbulb came on: Wouldn’t it be a great idea if they had a bus countdown?”

So Lander, who represents Park Slope, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens and Borough Park, said his office has been working with Department of Transportation and the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications. Along the B63 bus route in Park Slope, bus riders can head to the kiosks and check when the next bus is due to arrive. Lander said the feature has been added to about 20 kiosks along the route on 5th Avenue.

Lander said he’s been trying to get bus countdown clocks installed in Park Slope for the last five years, but that it’s a complicated and expensive process, with the price for each countdown clock at about $35,000. The LinkNYC kiosks seemed like they could be a quick fix for getting that functionality.

“We’ve gotten decent feedback,” Lander said. “I hope we could get to the point where nearly all Links that are close to buses or to the subway could act as countdown clocks.”

For now, the countdowns are only visible on the console of the kiosks. Lander would like to see countdowns displayed periodically on the side of the kiosks, available for all to see. He’s working on that.

“There’s a million logistical reason why it isn’t as easy as it would seem,” he explained.

Series: Brooklyn

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