Skip to main content

Solar-Powered e-Ink Signs

An e-Ink sign on the westbound platform at Chestnut Hill
  • Contract awarded: 2017
  • Projected completion: June 2020
  • Budget: $1.5 million
  • Status: Phase 1 pilot complete, Phase 2 in planning and design

Real-time information dramatically improves the experience of taking public transit—so we're working hard to make this information available throughout the MBTA system. However, there are several areas where access to electricity is limited or non-existent. Thanks to solar-powered electronic ink (e-Ink) signs, we may be able to display real-time updates in these areas in the future.

In 2017, we launched a pilot to test sign durability and performance, gather customer feedback, and determine whether we should add signs to additional bus and subway stops. We were especially curious to know if the signs could withstand the frigid Boston winter. The pilot concluded earlier this year.

As part of the Green Line Transformation (GLT), this project meets the following goals:

  • Customer experience: Real-time train arrival times at more street-level Green Line stops

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

What's Next

We’re launching a pair of follow-up pilots to further understand how and where we can use e-Ink signs to improve rider experience. The Green Line pilot will include a variety of signs to test the technological and logistical aspects of deploying them, while the bus pilot will test rider satisfaction.

Here’s what we plan to do:

Related Projects

Side view of new Green Line car at Riverside (July 2018)

This project is one of many we're working on to ensure twice as many passengers have access to a safer, more comfortable, and more reliable Green Line by 2030.

Learn more about the Green Line Transformation

Contact Information

For all queries and comments related to solar-powered e-Ink signs, please contact Kevin Mulder at KMulder@mbta.com.

Building a Better T

As part of our $8 billion, 5-year capital investment plan, we're renovating stations, modernizing fare collection systems, upgrading services for our buses, subways, and ferries, and improving the accessibility of the entire system.

Learn more

Related Projects

Side view of new Green Line car at Riverside (July 2018)

This project is one of many we're working on to ensure twice as many passengers have access to a safer, more comfortable, and more reliable Green Line by 2030.

Learn more about the Green Line Transformation