Commuters in San Bernardino, Calif., will be doing more for the environment than just leaving the car at home the next time they wait to use the public transit system.
San Bernadino is one of the first cities to adopt a high-tech bus stop developed in Canada. The i-STOP™, as it is called, is the creation of Carmanah Technologies of Victoria, B.C. It offers a flashing beacon to notify an oncoming bus that someone is waiting at a stop, a timed light that shines down on waiting passengers so they won't have to stand in darkness at night, and an illuminated transit timetable.
The i-STOP™ is solar-powered and requires no external wiring, digging of trenches to install it, or disruptions to traffic during installation. As such, it allows bus companies to avoid the lengthy process of obtaining building permits for hard-wired lighting systems.
The self-contained system stores enough electricity in its batteries to operate through the night, recharging during daylight hours. The system is designed to operate with no servicing for five years. After that, the battery packs can be replaced for another five years of operation.
More of the devices have been ordered by transit authorities in Medford, Oregon, and Denton, Texas. Victoria, B.C., home to Carmanah, plans to install 10 units before Christmas.
"Ever since we unveiled this technology in early September, there has been an exceptional level of interest from transit authorities," Carmanah CEO Art Aylesworth said.
In all, 10 public-transit authorities in North America have purchased the entire first production run of the company's i-STOP™. The company is installing about 100 more units in a field trial the next few weeks.
Among cities testing out the system are Sacramento, Calif., Arlington, Virginia, Seattle, Long Beach, Calif., and a water-taxi company in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Carmanah said that it is approaching some 2,500 transit agencies in the United States and Canada with its i-Stop. The number represents about a million transit stops in use in North America.
Carmanah specializes in solar-powered LED lighting products for the marine, transit, roadway and railway markets. To date, the company has more than 50,000 units installed in 110 countries.