Passenger Information and Way-Finding at Moscow Train Terminal Finally Sheds its Industrial Past

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From metal to microcomputer: Kursky Rail Terminal modernizes its message

Scala, the leading provider of end-to-end digital signage and advertising management software, announced that New Vision Media, a Scala Certified Partner in Russia, has implemented the first multi-screen digital passenger information and way-finding system in the Kursky Rail Terminal, Moscow's largest terminal by passenger volume.

Built in 1896 during the reign of Nikolai Romanov, Russia's last emperor, Kursky Rail Terminal's passenger information system remained stuck in the nineteenth century. Until New Vision Media approached the owners to modernize the station's signage in 2008, it had four large boards communicating passenger information throughout concourses. The boards used magnetic metal letters that required three staff members to manually update content each night. They had to align letters by hand with great precision, but inaccuracies and spelling errors were common, and the boards were also difficult to read.

This process limited the amount of information available to passengers because it was not updated in real time. It was also costly to employ staff to update boards nightly.

New Vision Media identified contemporary digital signage technologies as a solution for reducing labor costs and providing additional communication benefits to the station and its operators. The operators backed the proposition based on their need to enhance the information offered to passengers, lower operational costs and reinforce a modern image and approach courtesy of the network's deployment, a first in a train terminal in Russia.

New Vision Media worked closely with terminal administrators to specify and install screens across the site, with the largest comprising five large-format video walls of multiple 40" LCD panels. The panels are suspended more than 65 feet (20 meters) high to provide concourse-wide visual impact. The implementation alone required a significant amount of design and development work in terms of construction, refurbishment and installation and, where possible, site impact has been mitigated by delivering content wirelessly.

These screens display schedules for long distance and domestic trains in real time next to additional information, such as local news, weather, general travel information, and Euro and Dollar exchange rates. This information is generated by New Vision Media from online sources (RSS feeds) and fed to the screens' branded templates created in Scala. Unlike the original design, this solution is more automated.

The network is capable of broadcasting advertising messages from third parties and, in the future, advertisers may have the opportunity to target passengers in the terminal.

As part of its full-service offering, New Vision Media uses Scala Designer to create a range of animated templates that allow images, text, movies and feeds to be composed quickly and effectively. Size, layout and assets are pre-configured to ensure each item is consistent with the brand guidelines and visual requirements of the station, providing few opportunities for misspelled words or missing letters. Once completed, these templates are scheduled and remotely broadcast to the network using Scala, via New Vision Media's network operations center in Moscow.

Anecdotal customer research conducted suggests that passengers are highly satisfied. They cite that the screens offer more helpful, relevant and appropriate content than before in terms of assisting them on their travel, helping them navigate the terminal efficiently, and providing added-value content (news, weather, etc.) in a format that is easy to see and read.

Likewise, the administrative owners of Kursky Rail Terminal are pleased that phase one of this unique development has proved effective. Working with New Vision Media, they are likely to look at developing further products and services using the screen network in the coming months.

"As a first of its kind project in Russia, we are delighted that we have been able to take an antiquated information system and bring it up to date. In doing so, we are offering passengers a much more dynamic and proactive information system more akin in style to other media they consume elsewhere. The provision of real-time information has been a big hit with passengers as it directly helps them in planning their journey and also with our clients who, through this project, have experienced considerable cost savings over the previous system," said Vitaly Korol, Managing Director, New Vision Media.

Adding to Korol's comment, Oscar Elizaga, VP Operations for Scala EMEA said, "In some countries we have become familiar with the digitization of information and way-finding systems. New Vision Media's experience with Kursky Rail Terminal reflects today's cutting-edge mindset with regard to large-scale screen and content deployment at rail terminals. Not only is it an excellent example of its kind, it is to be applauded given it is the first of its kind in Russia. I look forward to working with New Vision Media in the coming months to capitalize on this experience and develop our offering to the Russian transport sector."

For images of the installation, please visit http://gallery.schubert.com/categories.php?cat_id=22.

About New Vision Media

New Vision Media is a Scala Certified Partner in Russia. The company provides digital signage solutions based on Scala's wide range of design and content management platforms. An individual approach to each client makes it possible to scope, design and implement custom solutions using proprietary know-how, techniques and methods gained from many years of experience in developing signage solutions. New Vision media partners in Russia are Mirax InTV and Mobil TV among others. More information is available at http://www.nvme.ru

About Scala

Driving more than 200,000 screens worldwide, Scala is a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions. Scala is the world's first connected signage company, offering the leading platform for content creation, management and distribution in digital signage networks and the first unified platform for advertising management of both traditional and digital signage networks. The company's digital signage customers include Rabobank, IKEA, Burger King, T-Mobile, Virgin MegaStore, Warner Brothers, The Life Channel, Rikstoto, Repsol, NorgesGruppen and thousands more. Advertising management customers include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Magic Media, among others. Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, USA, and has subsidiaries in Canada, the Netherlands, France, Norway and Japan, as well as more than 450 partners in more than 60 countries. More information is available at http://www.scala.com.

©2009 Scala, Inc. 350 Eagleview Blvd. Exton, PA 19341. Scala and the Exclamation Point Logo

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Lorena Crowley
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