Simplifying Real-Time Signage for Passengers at Pigeon Forge's Transit Center


Jamie Palmer, Sales Associate at Connexionz, met with Linuel (Lynn) Wilhoite, Transit Director at the City of Pigeon Forge, and discussed how our real-time signage solution, TimeView, is making an impact on riders and staff at their transit center.  


How many signs at Pigeon Forge presently use TimeView?  

"We're using seven signs out here at our bays right now. We've been excited about it; we've been looking forward to that working for a while now, and it's taken off really well."  


How would you describe the effect it has on your passengers?  

"You got folks that have been coming here for years, and they understand the system pretty well. But I find that with our new guests, we have a brand-new building, and everything's different than it used to be, so when they first get here, they're excited, but they're a little nervous about not understanding exactly how this works or what this is. I've been watching and monitoring this ever since we started, and it just seems to calm them down right off the bat. This is like a road map for people."  


Would you consider TimeView an easy and seamless solution to implement and run?  

"It has been with Connexionz' expertise; working with my IT department, they made a seamless connection because we already have a relationship with you as far as everything else that you put on our buses. This was so seamless, I mean your guys spoke that IT language with our guys, and next thing you know it's on, it's really that neat."  


How does TimeView contribute to the overall goals of Pigeon Forge?  

"We want to make it easier for our guests to know when the next Trolley is going to be here and what route that represents. We have over 2 million riders a year and I try to limit how many people actually go into our lobby to ask these questions. It answers so many questions the guests might have before they ever have to speak to us. It's been a huge blessing as far as taking pressure off the ladies in our lobby and it makes the experience for our guests so much better. It helps them the minute they get off the bus to find their next one [bus]... it's so obvious, and that's what's been so great about it. I'm just so thankful to have it." 


What do you consider the biggest strength of TimeView? 

"It just sets the table. It's like having a map right in front of you, except you're not walking around looking down; you're looking up and you're experiencing the area. You don't have to be reading something that's right in front of you, and it's a guide. It's a way to make your experience easier to understand; it's more manageable, and I didn't realize how important it would be before we turned it on. I was hopeful, but I wasn't sure, but now that I see it there is no doubt it makes the whole thing so worthwhile."  


Have you recognized any change in passenger behavior since running TimeView on your signs at your transit center?  

"We've only had it set up for a few months, but the impact was immediate. I mentioned the nervousness of them [passengers] not knowing, and it immediately helped folks know where they wanted to go. I immediately noticed a difference because they used to come in and they would kind of be confused, and it would upset them a little bit; now they walk out there and they see it, and they go, 'Oh well, here's where we're going' and off they go. 


"It's not confusing even when we have two buses on one route because it's going to show you the times for both buses. So, if they say, 'I really don't want to get on the bus, but there's another one behind it that's going to be here in 30 minutes, well, I'll go over here and take care of some shopping, and I've got time to get back over and in line for the bus.'


"All these little things just work together to make the experience better. Once again, you see that they feel calmer, so you can see it's made a big difference."  


Has there been any feedback from passengers or stakeholders? 

"What we've noticed is, local folks especially, but some of our guests that come back year after year, they have been coming in saying something to us or telling the drivers while they're driving down the street how nice it is, how much they appreciate it, and how much easier it is than the way it was before. 


"I've not heard any complaining—absolutely none—but on the other side of that, I've heard a whole bunch of very positive things. And they [passengers] are bragging about us because they feel like we're doing more to help them. They're bragging on us when you guys actually did the work, but that's OK, we'll take it.'"


Lastly, how would you describe our support overall as a company?

"With your company; you all have always been able to give us some suggestions and give us things to think about and you let us think about it and see how it fits into what we're doing and that's been a huge selling point for me with the company as a whole - just allowing us to make sure it fits with what we want.


"You've given us people who we can go directly to, we don't have to put in tickets if we don't want to, we can go straight to a couple of folks for immediate help. But we do use your help desk and the ticketing system, and you'll respond to that very quickly, that part's been great.

"Our sister city Gatlinburg [City of Gatlinburg] liked what they saw from us so much they've now joined the Connexionz team... we're sharing it with everybody in our community.


"We've had other agencies across the state of Tennessee come look at this and their reactions have been very good as well. I hope that we create so much business for you all you have to open a shop over here somewhere someday.


"The thing that's been good is we've gone through a few people and they're still with you but they've all shared their knowledge about us and so it's never been a really big issue when we change hands with someone. We don't have to worry about our service dropping down... and the service [field] technicians that you all have sent have become like family with us... we really appreciate the help, and I can't ask for any better." 

Interested in learning more?

If you want to learn more about our TimeView solution, head over to our TimeView page by clicking here.

If you want to learn more about our CAD/AVL ITS solutions, head over to our About page by clicking here.
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