Development Magazine Summer 2014

Display Real-Time Transit Information in Your Lobby

Building owners and managers now can install flat-screen computer monitors in their building lobbies that will furnish real-time snapshots of all local transportation options, customized to each building’s location. TransitScreen, a new system currently available in 15 North American cities plus Honolulu, enables building tenants and visitors to select the best way to get home while also spotlighting the building as a transit hub.

Although many smartphone apps provide on-time data for individual transit systems, TransitScreen is the only company so far that has gathered all of that data together to enable viewers to quickly and easily see which trains, buses, trolleys, etc. are running on time — as well as where the nearest bikeshare or carshare vehicles are located.

transit screen at a train station

A TransitScreen display from Washington, D.C., shows how soon the next subway trains and buses will arrive at the nearest station/stop, as well as how many Capital Bikeshare bicycles and docks and car2go (carshare) vehicles are available nearby. Photo courtesy of TransitScreen

Ryan Croft, co-founder of Transit-Screen, which has offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., said that he expects the system to grow beyond its current markets, which include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.

TransitScreen is not available as a phone app. The company works with transit agencies, universities, cities and real estate developers to make transit data available in building lobbies and other public areas. The system is web-based rather than tied to a piece of expensive hardware.

The only thing a building owner needs to set up the system in a lobby is a monitor, an Internet connection and a subscription to TransitScreen. A number of pricing structures are available, “ranging from a one-time upfront capital expense to a monthly fee-based model,” according to Croft.

Croft, whose family has been in the real estate business for decades and who grew up on the mantra, “location, location, location,” said: “What better way to display to tenants, prospective tenants and buyers what’s around the building and how well situated the property is? Every type of transit in the area is on the one screen, including subway lines, bus lines, trains, bikeshare, carshare, rideshare and taxi services.”

From the Archives: Business / Trends Articles from the Previous Issue

Two businessmen looking at laptop

10 Tips for Growing a Private, Non-Family-Owned Business 

What does it take to nurture and grow a private, non-family commercial real estate development company? Brian Coulter, managing partner at The JBG Companies, a prominent investor, owner, developer and manager of real estate properties in the Washington, D.C, metropolitan area, described how his firm handles these challenges, at NAIOP’s Development '13 conference.

K Street, Washington, D.C.

Back to the City: Déjà Vu All Over Again 

Through the rearview mirror of 2013, the demographic preferences that are shaping real estate’s future are coming into clear view: The emerging millennial generation is creating a strong “back to the city” movement, with the baby boomer generation as its partner.