Project Description

New York City – Flowbird provides a successful solar-power, user-friendly off-board cash payment system for the ‘Select Service Bus Rapid Transit System’


The New York City Transit Authority is a public authority that operates public transportation in New York City.

Part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the busiest and largest transit system in North America, the NYCTA has a daily ridership of 7 million trips (over 2 billion annually). The Select Bus Service currently comprises 17 routes on fifteen corridors, but there are plans to add another 21 routes citywide through 2027.

coin-only CAM devices
number of sales transactions a year

The Challenge

In 2008, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launched ‘Select Bus Service’, a brand for their regional bus operation for the NYCT rapid transit service. The purpose of the service was to improve speed and reliability on the long and busy bus corridors throughout the city.

At the heart of this operational improvement was the installation of a network of ‘off-board’ Coin Accepting Machines (CAMs) that would reduce bus boarding times and improve overall flow through the city.

The Solution

The Flowbird solution was to provide an easy-to-use system based on its solar-powered Strada devices, capable of communicating to the Flowbird back office via a cellular modem.

This highly flexible system consisted of:

  • 419 solar powered STRADA devices, each with mobile communications
  • A single centralised management system to control and monitor the CAM estate

The Benefits

  • The off board system expedites passenger boarding times by allowing customers to board at any door
  • No cash is stored on-bus, thereby safeguarding driver security
  • Reduced dwell times have reduced transit times from stop to stop
  • The Strada’s solar power and cellular communications allow deployment flexibility by not being reliant on hardwired infrastructure, thereby reducing installation times

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