Now in its seventh year, the Innovative Solutions Awards by Metro Magazine honors bus operators and their supplier partners who have implemented initiatives that helped them save money, run more efficiently, streamlined operations, increased safety, improved customer satisfaction, increased ridership, and more.
Building on a decade-long partnership, in 2020, the entire North American Greyhound Lines Inc. (Greyhound) fleet was upgraded with the Icomera X-Series wireless Internet connectivity gateway to significantly improve the passenger experience, by allowing travelers to enjoy Wi-Fi with faster browsing speeds and enhanced onboard entertainment options. The solution enables Greyhound’s passengers to watch Hollywood movies and popular TV shows, play games, and read bestselling eBooks and magazines.
The media content is delivered via Wi-Fi directly to passengers’ own smart devices, whether it’s smartphone, tablet, or laptop — so there is no need for seat-back screens. Since the media is stored locally on board, passengers stream the content from the vehicle, instead of over the Internet, which improves the speed of access to entertainment, while also easing the load on the available Internet bandwidth and reducing the cellular data usage costs associated with offering Passenger Wi-Fi.
“At a time when delivering onboard Internet-enabled services for passengers was still in an age of relative infancy, Greyhound outlined its commitment to acting as an industry innovator by commissioning Icomera to supply Passenger Wi-Fi for its fleet of vehicles,” explains Ronnie Long, Greyhound’s Director, Onboard Products and Customer Experience. “By 2020, Greyhound had laid the foundation for a ‘Digital Coach,’ upgrading its legacy hardware with Icomera’s next-generation X-Series platform. Now installed on all coaches, the Icomera X3 sets the stage for centralized connectivity, capable of hosting a range of virtual applications as part of a ‘one-box’ solution.”
After a decade of partnership, Icomera and Greyhound just extended the longstanding relationship for an additional three years to completely fulfill Greyhound’s digital strategy.
The partnership is just one example of how Greyhound continues to be ahead of the curve when it comes to improving the passenger experience. It was one of the first North American transit operators to deploy an entertainment solution, an onboard passenger amenity which is now being adopted at an accelerated pace across the industry post-Covid.
Greyhound allows passengers to remain connected in transit, while the media portal provides an immersive entertainment experience for those seeking a more leisurely journey. In 2020 alone, Icomera enabled approximately 5.5 million passenger Wi-Fi sessions across the North American Greyhound bus fleet.
“Greyhound and Icomera are about to embark on a new evolution of the ‘Digital Coach,’ extracting new value to enhance the overall return on investment,” says Gabriel Lopez-Bernal, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Icomera. “With the ‘Digital Coach’ footprint in play, Greyhound is leveraging the flexibility of the GoView platform to add a new revenue stream from programmatic advertising partners.”
“This award validates the power of a partnership. Icomera’s solution meets the needs of a complex operator, like Greyhound, and sets the stage for new programs that further improve the onboard experience,” says Long.
The Icomera solution is currently installed on all Greyhound coaches across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
An in-depth look at each of this year’s Innovative Solutions Award winners of the 2021 winners can be found in METRO’s November issue.
Read about the Innovative Solutions Awards here.