Now in its seventh year, the Innovative Solutions Awards honors bus operations and their supplier partners who have implemented initiatives that helped them save money, run more efficiently, streamline operations, increase safety, improve customer satisfaction, increase ridership, and more.
METRO’s staff would like to thank everyone who applied, and congratulations again goes to all our winners.
Building on a decade-long partnership, in 2020, the entire North American Greyhound Lines Inc. (Greyhound) fleet was upgraded with the Icomera X-Series wireless internet connectivity gateway to significantly improve the passenger experience, by allowing travelers to enjoy Wi-Fi with faster browsing speeds and enhanced onboard entertainment options. The solution enables Greyhound’s passengers to watch Hollywood movies and popular TV shows, play games, and read bestselling eBooks and magazines. The media content is delivered via Wi-Fi directly to passengers’ own smart devices, whether it’s smartphone, tablet, or laptop — so there is no need for seat-back screens. Since the media is stored locally onboard, passengers stream the content from the vehicle, instead of over the internet, which improves the speed of access to entertainment, while also easing the load on the available internet bandwidth and reducing the cellular data usage costs associated with offering passenger Wi-Fi.
“At a time when delivering onboard internet-enabled services for passengers was still in an age of relative infancy, Greyhound outlined its commitment to acting as an industry innovator by commissioning Icomera to supply passenger Wi-Fi for its fleet of vehicles,” explain Greyhound officials. “By 2020, Greyhound had laid the foundation for a ‘Digital Coach,’ upgrading its legacy hardware with Icomera’s next-generation X-Series platform. Now installed on all coaches, the Icomera X3 sets the stage for centralized connectivity, capable of hosting a range of virtual applications as part of a ‘one-box’ solution.”
After a decade of partnership, Icomera and Greyhound just extended the longstanding relationship for an additional three years to completely fulfill Greyhound’s digital strategy.
The partnership is just one example of how Greyhound continues to be ahead of the curve when it comes to improving the passenger experience. It was one of the first North American transit operators to deploy an entertainment solution, an onboard passenger amenity which is now being adopted at an accelerated pace across the industry post-Covid.
Greyhound has laid the foundations for a fully realized “digital coach,” capable of supporting a wide range of internet-enabled applications as part of a single solution. Greyhound allows passengers to remain connected in transit, while the media portal provides an immersive entertainment experience for those seeking a more leisurely journey. In 2020 alone, Icomera enabled approximately 5.5 million passenger Wi-Fi sessions across the North American Greyhound bus fleet.
“Greyhound and Icomera are about to embark on a new evolution of the ‘Digital Coach,’ extracting new value to enhance the overall return on investment,” say officials at both Greyhound and Icomera. “With the ‘Digital Coach’ footprint in play, Greyhound is leveraging the flexibility of the GoView platform to add a new revenue stream from programmatic advertising partners.”
The Icomera solution is currently installed on all Greyhound coaches across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.