The Hop to incorporate 35 'smart kiosks' providing real-time arrival information, other amenities

MILWAUKEE -- The Hop announced a new partnership with Smart City Media, to implement a smart kiosk infrastructure program designed to support streetcar operations while fostering stronger connections between the streetcar route and key activity centers throughout the central business district. The initial launch will include 35 digital kiosks, called CityPosts, installed along and near The Hop’s route later this spring.

The smart kiosks will be dual-sided, featuring 55” touch screens that are interactive and fully ADA accessible, providing curated local content in multiple languages to assist residents and visitors with transit use and connections, wayfinding, and other city information. The units also provide free public Wi-Fi and contain security cameras that will be integrated with MPD’s existing surveillance systems.

When not in use, the kiosk screens will display a mix of streetcar arrival times, advertising and local content, including public service announcements and community messaging from government departments and local small businesses. When engaged, the touch screens can be utilized to access community calendars, business directories, transit information, visitor information and a variety of other content channels. The Smart City kiosks also present a variety of sponsorship opportunities, including a small business sponsorship that will underwrite the ability for local merchants to advertise on the kiosks at no cost.

“There is so much energy and activity in the heart of Milwaukee right now, and the City’s smart kiosk initiative will be a fantastic complement to everything we’re doing to make downtown more vibrant and engaging,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown BID #21. “These kiosks, combined with additional wayfinding upgrades that we have been working on with our partners at the City of Milwaukee and VISIT Milwaukee, will be of tremendous value to our business partners, residents and visitors, both during the busy summer ahead and for years to come.”

Milwaukee’s smart kiosk initiative comes at no cost to the City, as Smart City will own and maintain the kiosks throughout the 10-year agreement while providing the City a share of the revenue generated through the platform. All kiosks will be located in the public right-of-way, either on streetcar platforms or in key destinations near the route to strengthen connections between the streetcar and high-density activity centers in the city. Specific site locations will be finalized in the coming weeks, with installation slated to begin in the spring and be completed in advance of this summer’s Democratic National Convention.

“This is truly a win-win for The Hop, the City of Milwaukee and for everyone who lives, works or visits downtown,” Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Polenske added. “This initiative will provide meaningful financial support to our streetcar operations while expanding the utility of the system through improved connections with residential, employment and entertainment areas walkable from the route. This is a critical next step in the growth of The Hop and a tremendous asset for the entire community to utilize.”