San Francisco and the surrounding areas are very well known for being the most tech savvy part of the country, and now they have an even bigger reason to wear the crown. 1,100 bus shelters in the city are being outfitted with solar panels and WiFi, which will eventually help cover the area with citywide WiFi. All excellent news for citizens of the city.
The roof is constructed from an innovative 40% post-industrial recycled polycarbonate material embedded with thin-film photovoltaic cells. The panel powers the NextMuni display that tells people when their bus is coming, a Push-To-Talk system so blind people can hear the NextMuni information, environmentally friendly light bulbs, and free Wi-Fi. The old florescent lights in the current shelters use 336 watts; the new LED panels use only 74 watts.
“Transit shelters that use photovoltaics, LEDS, and WiFi are going to be standard in the future and I’m proud that San Francisco is once again acting like the pace car for other cities by trying and implementing these technologies,” said the mayor last week.
The first shelter to roll out is at the corner of Geary and Arguel boulevards in the Richmond District area of San Francisco.