Sun Lights Canadian-Designed Bus Stops

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

VICTORIA - North America's first solar powered bus stops have been installed in Victoria.

The solar stop is the brainchild of a British Columbia-based company that hopes to sell its light for the world's darkest bus stops - starting with 10 spots in Victoria.

The innovative product, called the i-Stop, provides an illuminated transit schedule, a flashing signal to alert bus drivers to waiting passengers, and a security light for passengers.

Carmanah Technologies chief executive officer Art Aylesworth said the bus stop virtually eliminates the problem of bus drivers missing passengers because they can't see them at stops.

Transit agencies across North America and Europe have placed orders for the stops, which are vandal- and weather-proof, he said.

The solar-powered light technology was originally developed to power marine navigation lights used by the Canadian and U.S. coast guards.

Solar stops need only 1.5 hours of sunlight to run for 150 hours. The units cost about $1,000 each, but Aylesworth said costs should drop as production increases.

Written by CBC News Online staff