Rail service on the southern section of the Blue Line resumes on Saturday after four months of work to modernize the line. One big change riders will see at the stations: digital display cases that will be offering a variety of transit info.
The cases are officially known as IxNTouch information screens and were developed by Intersection, the firm that handles advertising on the Metro Rail system.
A few more things to know about the IxNTouch screen:
• About 41 of the IxNTouch screens have been installed at Blue Line stations between Downtown Long Beach and Compton.
• The screens will have rail and bus arrival times, system and station area maps, service alerts and updates, Metro public service announcements and, if need be, can show emergency messaging.
• This is part of Metro’s effort to improve its digital offerings. We currently rely on static maps at the stations whereas the new IxNTouch screens can show the kind of real-time info we think customers want.
• A trip planner function will be added at a later date.
• The screens will also be installed at stations on the northern half of the Blue Line during the northern closures over the next four months. Several will be installed at Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station.
• After that work is complete, hundreds more of the screens will be phased in across the entire Metro system over the next few years. There will be at least two screens per station. Next up in 2020 will be the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Expo Line.
• The screens were installed by Intersection, a firm that was awarded a 10-year contract by Metro in Jan. 2018 to sell and display advertising on the Metro Rail system. As part of the contract, Intersection committed to investing nearly $20 million in digital equipment on the Metro system and paying Metro at least $42.6 million in ad revenues. Long story short: ad revenues are paying for the digital screens.
• And, yes, that means there will be advertising displayed on the screens. And, yes, Metro does have restrictions about what advertising is allowed on the system. Restrictions include ads that contain but are not limited to alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, weapons, vulgar or obscene language, endorsing violence, illegal activity and religious, non-commercial, or political messages.
Below are some GIFs that show what the screens can do: