March 9, 2011

Dept. of Fun Things to Do at a Bus Stop

Earlier this year, Clear Channel ponied up to install digital screens at 20 different bus stops across San Francisco. Like, big digital screens.

Clear Channel's incentive: advertising revenue. Clear Channel shoulders the implementing costs, pays Muni for the bus stop space, and then rents out the screens to companies like Yahoo, which sponsored a month-long Bus Stop Derby. While waiting at bus stops, patrons could tap-activate the touch screen, sign in as a representative for x neighborhood, and play live games against people at other bus stops. The winner accrued points for his/her neighborhood, and ... one month later, North Beach has been crowned victorious (tourists?), followed by the Tenderloin. I have this image of legions of bums (with, you know, lots of free time), gradually ascending the digital learning curve and accumulating points by virtue of sheer hours played.

Anyway, something worked, because Clear Channel is expanding the digi-screens to DC.

Big screens, yo. And I'm stuck with County Connection, where you're lucky to have a bench.

Locations of the different interactive bus stops. Even though most sites are concentrated in the Financial District, players anywhere can sign in for any neighborhood.

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