Revolutionizing Daily Commutes: A Look into Urban Digital's Smart Bus Shelter Project in Tel Aviv Metro

We're proud to be part of 'Fast to the City,' one of Israel's most significant public transportation initiatives in recent years.

Advancements in technology always carry the potential to significantly change our lives, and at Urban Digital, we're doing just that by transforming public transport through our smart bus shelter project in the Tel Aviv public transport metro system project named “Fast To the City” (in Hebrew: Mahir La’ir).

The Tel Aviv metropolis, officially referred to as “Gush Dan," is the busiest and most dense district in Israel. It is home to approximately 50% of the country's jobs and was the site of half of all journeys made in Israel in 2016. However, only 1.2 million of the 6 million daily trips were made by public transportation, leading to extreme traffic congestion. This congestion costs an estimated NIS 35 billion per year in financial damage, a figure expected to rise to NIS 70 billion per year by 2040. (1)

The inefficiency of the bus system, a significant component of public transportation, is a prime cause of this issue. The lack of public transportation routes on central traffic routes further aggravates it. The "Fast to the City" project responds to this problem. Managed under the Ministry of Transportation and a total estimated cost of 3.5 Billion NIS (roughly 1 Billion USD), the project that initiated in 2017. Fast to the city upgraded public transportation by paving hundreds of kilometers of public transportation routes in central streets, prioritizing public transit over private vehicles.

Urban Digital manages the part of upgrading the smart bus shelters and main terminals in this project, in which we have been involved since it’s inception. We are working closely with 17 municipalities and deployed 400 smart bus shelters stations.

So, what does this transformation mean for everyday individuals and commuters in Tel Aviv Metro?

It's simple: this massive project is bringing unprecedented convenience and connectivity directly to the daily lives of millions of commuters. Our innovative smart bus shelters play a significant part in the shift we see in Israel toward the use of public transport. The advancement in infrastructure in public transit finally caught up with the technological aspects and converted more passengers to use public transport and leave their private vehicles at home.

Our Smart Bus Shelters are a key example of this upgrade and shift in usage.Our modern stations offer real-time bus schedules and route information right at the fingertips of commuters, saving time and taking the guesswork out of their journey.



You may ask, how do we achieve this?

It's all about utilizing cutting-edge technology. Our smart bus stops extract real-time bus location data relayed via a central server. We apply the SIRI protocol for real-time data and GTFS for comprehensive travel information.

But that's not all. Our stations also feature "Search Destination," a powerful route-planning tool. With the help of innovative third-party software, this tool generates multi-modal route plans that cover all forms of transport, even down to walking. It seamlessly integrates information from buses, trains, and trams to provide a comprehensive travel plan.

The integrated smart ticketing service streamlines the fare payment process, while the interactive maps aid tourists and new residents in navigating our wonderful city.

The dynamic digital signage system provides valuable city information and event updates, turning idle waiting time into an opportunity to stay informed. The Gush Dan area in Israel is a bustling city with culture, food, music, and more. Using the bus transport infrastructure, the city informs residents of events it wants to promote. And this isn't just a local initiative. Mahir La'ir is part of a national project stewarded by the Ministry of Transportation in Israel. Successfully collaborating with these major entities and implementing large-scale projects from start to finish is part of what makes us excel at Urban Digital.

Moreover, the residents of local authorities in Gush Dan have seen a more vibrant, connected community emerge around these digital hubs, as they facilitate social interactions, boost local businesses via business directories and promotional advertisements, and serve as modern landmarks, enhancing the city's aesthetic appeal. At some point, one can consider the bus station as a comforting shelter; at others, the station turns into an informative billboard and smart communication channel. This project has not only improved individual commutes but also contributed to building a smarter, more connected community by implementing smart bus stops.


What’s next for infrastructure in Mahir La’ir?

A project of this magnitude creates strong relationships with the respected authority. While infrastructure maintenance continues, we consistently contact our partners to get feedback, work on improvements, and upgrade our software and production process.

The Mahir La'ir project is a prime example of Urban Digital's mission to enhance people's quality of life through innovative technology solutions. From the outset, our products have made a significant impact, and we are determined to continue upgrading public transportation infrastructure. We're passionate about this cause, and it motivates us to push ourselves constantly. We're thrilled to be making a meaningful impact, and we're always striving to do better.

Urban Digital is grateful to partner on this project with:

Ayalon Highways

Municipality of Ramat-Hasharon

Holon Municipality

Hod Hasharon Municipality

Bat Yam Municipality

Rishon Le-Zion Municipality

Kfar Saba Municipality

עיריית הרצליה | Herzliya Municipality

Kiryat Ono Municipality

Bnei Brak municipality

The Municipality of Petah Tikva

Givat Shmuel Municipality

Lod Municipality

Ramla Municipality