Brightening Up the Ride

The St. John's Transportation Commission (Metrobus) has added solar-powered, light emitting diode (LED) illumination to three bus stops.The new i-STOP™, introduced in 2002 by Carmanah Technologies Inc. Victoria, B.C., offers:

  • Lighting for the passenger waiting area
  • A backlit bus schedule for nighttime reading
  • A pushbutton-activated flashing beacon to notify bus drivers of a waiting passenger, visible for 1.5 kilometres at night and 400 metres in daylight

The i-STOP™ also enables future enhancements like satellite-linked real-time schedule information that would tell passengers if they have enough time to grab a coffee or a newspaper before the next bus arrives.

The i-STOP™ is the world's first solar-powered, LED-illuminated bus stop. Each unit costs about $1,000 but installation is inexpensive because no digging or electrical work is needed.The i-STOP™ system's batteries are charged by built-in solar panels and its LED lights use 90 percent less electricity than regular bulbs without ever wearing out.A computer chip regulates power output, enabling 200 hours of operation on a single 90-minute sunlight charge.