- High-speed "Link" kiosks, developed by Intersection, will soon be installed in downtown Newark, NJ, according to NJ.com. The kiosks have Wi-Fi connectivity and allow users to charge their phones, make calls and download music or movies for free.
- Meanwhile, State Scoop reports that the LinkNYC service in New York City will add bus arrival times to 29 kiosks in Brooklyn, with the service set to expand to the rest of the 1,700 kiosks in the city’s other boroughs soon.
- The kiosks will show users nearby bus lines and how far away the next bus is, using information downloaded from the city’s Metropolitan Transit Authority. Transit officials told StateScoop the Brooklyn pilot should last "[no] more than a few weeks" before it spreads elsewhere in the city.
The use of the Link Wi-Fi kiosks has been expanding across several cities in recent years as they look to reduce the "digital divide" and make the internet accessible for all residents. In addition, the initiative has generated millions of dollars in revenue for New York City through advertising and has created new jobs, while others report that retail business near the kiosks has experienced an uptick.
The kiosks could be even more effective in Newark, as Fierce Telecom reports they will run over the Newark Fiber network, offering high speeds on the city’s public-private gigabit data network already linked to several other buildings. Intersection, one of the companies behind the LinkNWK kiosks, will install 45 by the end of the year at no cost to the city.
Installation is set to be largely focused in Newark’s downtown corridor, and comes with the city a finalist for Amazon’s HQ2 and looking to flex its muscles as a leading place for new technological innovations. Not only should this help the city move toward that goal, it will also provide an opportunity for all residents to be involved in this revolution. "Newark is here, we are on the map," Aisha Glover, president of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) reportedly said during a Wednesday press conference at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
New York’s push to add bus schedules to its LinkNYC kiosks represents another step forward, too. More and more, cities are pushing to standardize arrival time information for public transportation, including for the blind like in Austin or in cities like Chicago, which provides service updates and emergency messages. "From voter registration to healthcare enrollment, and now with real-time bus information on Brooklyn kiosks, LinkNYC has once again proven to be more than just fast and free Wi-Fi," Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Samir Saini said in a statement, per StateScoop.