Buttons or Touchscreen?
Back in November I posted a news article called QUARTA beta-testing Stop Request buttons at bus stops serving multiple routes. You can take a quick glance to know more about what I'm talking about, but basically at the time I proposed stop request buttons at bus stops serving more than one bus route so that only the routes people are waiting on have to stop (other than when people are getting off).
Now I'm thinking about expanding this beyond just stops with multiple routes and also including these request buttons at stops along major crosstown routes even when there is only that one route, since routes that major often suffer from delays from having to make frequent stops. Now at the moment this would not extend to smaller neighborhood routes which would have much less of a need for something like this, since the routes generally run slower.
However, it brings up the question- how will these kiosks work?
My original idea, at least for the beta version, was to just have a panel on the side of a post with what are essentially elevator buttons to request each bus. I still think it's a good idea, but at the same time, bus routes change, meaning the routes served by each stop will likely change at some point too. I'm thinking the panels with the buttons would be easy and semi-cheap to replace, that the numbers will be easy to change and that there might automatically be like a couple extra buttons that can be activated if new routes are added, but still, that could be a hassle.
My other idea was to create a larger solar powered kiosk with a touchscreen. These displays could show much more information than the button version, ex. Route name, destination, service, etc, as well as be updated immediately with no changes. However, I feel like this would put the sight impaired at an extreme disadvantage- with the button version, I planned to do like many elevators and have a braille panel next to each number, but you can't exactly put braille on a touchscreen. Then again, I suppose that could be solved by having Braille plackards on the plastic/metal next to the screen that correspond spacing-wise to the listings of the routes as they display on the screen, but that would still mean the Braille plackards would have to be changed every time the bus routes changed. Maybe if I added sound features?
I'm wondering what you guys' thoughts are. I'm thinking maybe use the kiosks at major stops and the buttons at minor stops. I think places where only one bus stops and it's not expected that the number of buses at that stop will ever exceed 3 would be okay using the button kiosks, but at major stops that see a medium amount of route changes the kiosks might work better.
Emergency buttons at every metro entrance?
Another note is I'm considering adding emergency buttons to all major bus stops and to the posts besides every QLine Metro Station entrance, to create sort of a citywide safety network similar to what we see on many college campuses. I suppose one might compare it to those really old fire boxes that used to be in major cities way before my time:
What do you guys think? Any ideas to improve either of these concepts?