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Leverage Digital Signage for a Better Passenger Experience

Build customer loyalty with immersive passenger experiences.

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Customers today expect digital experiences in every aspect of their lives, and passenger travel is no exception. The demand for real-time, personalized information delivered via immersive digital solutions has given rise to opportunities for innovation in digital signage displays and passenger information systems.

Taking advantage of these digital opportunities to drive customer loyalty and revenue requires a coordinated effort between IT and many stakeholders across the organization, backed by a framework that enables assessment of opportunities, gaps, and technologies, along every step of the passenger journey.

Plan for the complexity of a digital signage and passenger information architecture

Whether passengers are in transit or waiting for transit, immersive passenger experiences can drive value, from live weather updates to targeted advertising. However, the complexities of performance, maintenance, and security must also be factored in. CIOs can take a leadership role in driving effective processes, tools, and technologies to support the digital customer experience:

  1. Identify passenger needs: Understand what’s important to passengers and identify how you can use tools and technology, such as digital display systems, to satisfy their needs.
  2. Prioritize technology requirements: Assess tools and technology based on critical features and functions that can be leveraged for higher efficiency, lower cost, enhanced collaboration, transparency, and streamlined experience, toward the goal of greater loyalty and profitability.
  3. Align key players: After establishing the technologies needed, develop a collaborative operating model that aligns a cross-functional team, including IT, Operations, Facilities, and IT Security.

This research offers insights into processes, tools, and technologies to support digital signage and passenger information solutions that will delight passengers at every step of their journey.

Leverage Digital Signage for a Better Passenger Experience Research & Tools

1. Leverage Digital Signage for a Better Passenger Experience Deck – Learn about why a digital signage and passenger information solution is important to your business.

Understand why the CIO should be taking a leadership role toward ensuring an effective process has been put in place for identifying and selecting the right solution for the business.

Learn about the processes, tools, and technologies that can be used to get a digital signage and passenger information solution that will dazzle your customers with real-time information and transparency to delight them on their journey.

2. Digital Signage and Passenger Information Customer Journey Mapping Tool – Use this tool to map out your specific customer journeys and the opportunities for new technological solutions that will enhance their customer experiences.

Developing your customer persona is the first step in value creation approach.

Identify digital opportunities for digital signage and passenger information customer journeys.

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Leverage Digital Signage for a Better Passenger Experience

Honor the value of passengers by providing outstanding digital customer experiences all along the passenger route.

Analyst Perspective

Good digital signage is key for a great customer experience and for driving social engagement.

Passenger transportation hasn’t evolved as rapidly as it could, and this is a lost opportunity because customers expect high levels of engagement. Many businesses haven’t evolved beyond one-way announcements and pull cords used in buses.

The modern passenger is somebody that uses social media tools for both work and play. They expect to have socially immersive experiences that are delivered live and on demand.

Information can and should be at their fingertips throughout the travel experience. The complexity lies in the context. Information and entertainment providers need to consider the context of the passenger. The greater the context for social interactions, the greater the customer loyalty.

Info-Tech’s approach focuses on an analyst’s investigation of the challenges in the market and feedback about solutions that can be leveraged by customers to accelerate their transition to digital signage solutions for a more immersive passenger experience.

70% of consumers purchase more from companies that offer seamless, conversational experiences.
– Zendesk, 2023

Photo of Kevin Tucker

Kevin Tucker
Principal Research Director, Manufacturing Research
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

It’s difficult to keep up with the demand for information to satisfy customers. The CIO must work closely with the operations and business leaders to ensure there is a coordinated effort to satisfy customers’ needs.

There is no consistent method for effectively planning and managing the digital transformation and this causes new demand for capital and operating spend.

Determining what solutions will work best for which requirement is difficult because there are several key stakeholders such as marketing, IT, operations, transportation, customers, and partners.

Common Obstacles

Gaining access to all the beneficial locations for digital signage and passenger information solutions can be very difficult because many of them may be owned by third party businesses or city services that take time and money to resolve.

The digital landscape is rapidly changing, and the CIO must stay abreast of the changes in order to effectively advise and support the business while maintaining cost efficiency.

Gaining the experience and understanding of what relationships are most beneficial for long term success across the digital ecosystem.

Info-Tech’s Approach

Determine how the business can increase customer satisfaction and improve business value by using digital signage and passenger information solutions to provide real-time and predictive information capabilities.

Use our persona and journey mapping tools to determine what opportunities and gaps must be considered for each stakeholder and initiative.

Through vendor research and analysis, Info-Tech has identified the digital opportunities that each vendor offers and how the implementation can be fast-tracked with Info-Tech’s Rapid Application Selection Framework.

Info-Tech Insight

Digital is beginning to permeate passenger journeys that help to increase customer value. Digital signage and passenger information are two of the hottest areas of focus with customers’ increased need for real-time information.

Digital signage for passengers

The concept of digital signage for passengers is an evolving narrative as new technologies are being discovered at an ever-increasing frequency. In addition to the new types of hardware shapes and sizes there are also new levels of intelligence being placed in the software that offer greater personalization.

Making passenger experiences more personal is becoming paramount to competitive advantage. Being able to offer real-time information and services through digital signage and passenger information is becoming a fundamental expectation as more and more people have devices that monitor all other aspects of their lives in real-time. Real-time personalized experiences are the “Holy Grail” of transit experiences for customers.

Digital signage market is growing

The need for information is driving the spending and market value globally.

A diagram that shows Digital Display Growth in 2016 and 2021

Showing the value of the worldwide digital signage display market in 2016 and the forecasted amount for 2021.
—Source: Statista, 2023, “Value of the digital signage display market worldwide in 2016 and 2021”

A diagram that shows Digital Signage Global Market Value in 2016 and 2023.

Showing the value of the worldwide digital signage market in 2016 and the forecasted amount for 2023.
—Source: Statista, 2023, “Value of the digital signage market worldwide in 2016 and 2023”

Stations are ramping up systems with real-time information

Customers are demanding more timely information from passenger service providers to manage expectations on time and passenger safety.

A diagram that shows Transit with Information Systems

Bus services have a lot of opportunity to learn how to deliver more passenger information systems for customers of the rail industry.
— Source: Statista, 2022.

The speed of travel is continuing to rise

Information must be delivered in a timely manner to meet shortened travel times provided by faster train speeds.

A diagram that shows the fastest trains in the world.

There has been a major jump in performance as systems that were traveling at speeds of around 140km/h a few years ago are now travelling at speeds of 400 to 600km/h.

The need for rapid information dissemination becomes vitally important as trip durations have become much shorter.

— Source: Statista, 2022.

Customers are demanding digital everywhere

Digital communications are appearing in facets of the passenger journey.

Live Status

Strategic signs along routes, complemented by a mobile application can, help to eliminate customer frustrations from guessing about arrivals or reasons for delays.


Expanding the amount of situational information for customers about emergencies, cancellations, and alternative adjustments is important for building trust and loyalty.


GPS based signage can take services to an entirely new level, whereby customers can get up-to-the-minute visual feedback as to where and how the travel is progressing.


Personalization offers incredible opportunity for engagement by customer type. The instant-feedback customer is using digital solutions for 24/7 engagement with businesses.


Digital signage offers a wide array of wayfinding opportunities for passengers during ticketing, walking, and commuting toward their destination with both static and active signage.

— Source: Look, 2021

Customer satisfaction is driving the need for change

Digital communications are appearing in all facets of the passenger journey – build solutions that enhance customer satisfaction and drive profitability.

Booking Process
Accessibility and ease-of-use for all passenger types, including disabled.

Different options that will make the journey more pleasurable.

Information is easy to find and simple to use.

Excellent quality of information and services for avoiding things like over-crowding.

Proactive information around the clock and on-time services that help avoid long wait times.

Incentive driven relationships enhanced through digital display services.

Creating a virtual to physical community that engages customers with the brand.

— Source: Hubspot, 2021; Televic GSP via Anchor, 2020; Linkedin, 2021.

Digital displays must address critical capabilities

Businesses need reliable, durable, and sustainable digital solutions that meet customer needs.

Whether it is during the day, late at night, or in direct sunlight the screen must be readable.

The screen should be designed to be efficient across any omnichannel digital display device or panel with hand and glove touch capabilities for touch screens.

We are pushing the boundaries with new technologies, but we need to think twice about what is safe (alerting).

New solutions need to meet a combination of functional capabilities while at the same time being environmentally friendly.

They should be resistant to vandalism while at the same time being more functional than a simple airplane seat sign.

— Source: Display Technology, 2022.

Opportunities for digital signage and passenger information solutions beat the challenges


  • Targeted advertising with fast, direct activation can be made a reality with digital signage.
  • Direct interactive experiences with the devices.
  • Dynamically integrate and display external data sources such as weather, stats, social media, RSS feeds, SQL, QR codes, etc.
  • Extend the in-transit/waiting experience to every area of the trip, giving passengers a 360-degree experience and confidence that they will depart and arrive on time.
  • Make your customer experience job easier using digital signage for trip-specific wayfinding, directional information, and emergency messaging.
  • Create dynamic and enticing information displays, which significantly increase engagement and travel sales.
  • Provide a premium experience for VIP customers that use premium vehicles or seating, providing them with an easy-to-use remote control, information personalization, and interactive features like video on demand.
  • For stations, vehicles, and meeting spaces, digital signage offers hassle-free integration of external inputs such as laptops and third-party control devices.


  • Effectively using digital signage and passenger information solutions can be difficult because measuring success is challenging.
  • The increasing use of digital signage has also increased the amount of cyberthreats, such as phishing, ransomware attacks, and malware downloads.
  • Maintaining software and hardware can be challenging and time-consuming.
  • Cleaning of displays is often overlooked, negatively impacting the passenger experience.
  • Acquiring and deploying digital signage can be expensive if the skills and staffing are reliant on external people.
  • Securing and maintaining the devices can be very complicated and time-consuming, especially when damage is a regular occurrence.
  • Readability while in motion is a key challenge when providing digital signage solutions and passenger information in-transit because it must perform well during high vibration, reduced visibility, and adverse weather conditions.

— Source: ScreenCloud, 2023, AZULLE, 2021

Digital signage delivers broad technical and business benefits


  • Enhance the passenger experience by creating 360-degree in-transit and waiting experiences no matter where the passenger is located.
  • Increase revenue through third-party advertising and developing unique interactive marketing messages.
  • Provide personalized experiences for passengers through vibrant digital signage, passenger information, and mobile application services.
  • Remain competitive by maintaining a healthy and sustainable business in the digital economy by continuing to advance in digital experiences.
  • Gain insight into passenger engagement behaviors through digital signage and interactive passenger information impressions.


  • IT will be seen as a valuable partner and will enable the success and transformation of the business while elevating the CIO’s influence with the leadership team.
  • The business will enhance its investment in technology that enables a holistic and seamless passenger experience.
  • Gain insightful data and analytics through digital signage and passenger information solutions reporting with real-time and delayed customer interaction data.
  • IT, marketing, and transportation management departments will begin collaborative work with a digital signage and passenger information initiative that broadens the IT department’s stature within the business.

— Source: ScreenCloud, 2023, AZULLE, 2021

Create a 360-degree customer experience

Digital solutions are creating a holistic customer experience.

A diagram that shows Station and Vehicle Displays, including entertainment areas, billboards, cabin displays, head-up displays, ticket window displays, and marquee displays.

— Source: TripSpark, 2023.

Deliver real-time passenger and operator information

Information anytime, anywhere, and on any device is the key to engagement.

A diagram that shows Passenger and Driver Information, including seat-mounted entertainment, status boards, head-up displays, automated signpost, and mobile application.

— Source: ETA Transit, 2020.

Utilize a wider array of digital technologies

Being transparent means being live and being helpful to customers.

A diagram that shows The Future Fully Transparent, including passenger count, cashless payment, head-up displays, seat assignment, mobile everywhere, and passenger wifi.

— Source: Alamy, 2023; dribble, n.d.; ITESMEDIA, n.d.

Operating and maintaining digital signage can be difficult, but it is worth the effort

Ongoing maintenance is a key component of any digital signage and passenger information plan. As the organization relies more and more on digital signage and passenger information to market the products and services and to engage and entertain customers, signage is only going to be effective if it’s attractive and functioning properly.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, customers are more conscious of the cleanliness of touchscreens and other digital signage devices. Displays should be cleaned regularly with screen-safe antimicrobial wipes. Digital cleaning services are also available in the marketplace and can be added as a monthly or weekly service. This is valuable for high-traffic areas. Displays should be dusted periodically to avoid interference with operation. Outdoor digital signage requires routine inspection of the supporting and protective structure to ensure they remain safe and waterproofed.


Digital signage and passenger solutions should be kept up-to-date and patched to maximize performance and uptime. Security patches are extremely important to secure sensitive information across the network. Digital displays and passenger information solutions are at risk of security threats whereby hackers may attempt to take control of the service and content to spread disinformation or to collect information. Organizations should conduct regular reviews to ensure the software operates at its optimal capabilities.


Transportation leaders should invest in high quality commercial-grade digital signage and equipment that’s designed to operate 24/7 within a variety of harsh environments. Leaders should implement a comprehensive plan for proactively maintaining, repairing, and replacing equipment. Marketing and IT teams often lack the knowledge or staff capacity to address issues in a timely manner. They therefore run the risk of negatively impacting customers that rely on the digital signage for planning and progressing on their journeys.


Passenger digital signage will primarily be located at high-traffic public areas, so it's important to restrict physical and virtual access. All devices must be adequately secured to structures where possible and all content players should be kept within secure, break proof, and difficult-to-access locations. Where possible, there should be monitoring by video, network, and staff. Network performance testing is vital for ensuring optimal performance of the displays as customers have time sensitivities to consider and vehicles must remain connected while in motion.

— Source: Sage Net, 2021, Broadsign, 2017.

Triple-lock digital signage and passenger information

Passenger transportation leaders need to be security conscious, when it comes to digital signage and passenger information, to ensure that the content being streamed over their network is not going to be illegally accessed, copied, hacked, or tampered with. Solutions should have basic security features such as digitally signed playlists, selection lists, and media lists that the system administrator can control for selective viewing of content. Robust solutions will have additional locks and keys where they can prevent unauthorized access to media files, livestreams, and other content as it’s distributed.

Three major types of content security systems to look for are:


To prevent the HDMI digital TV picture from being illegally reproduced, the digital signals on most HDMI outputs are encrypted. The encryption system is called HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), and it is administered by Digital Content Protection LLC (DCP LLC).

The HDMI output on a video “source” device provides a digital video and audio signal that allows it to provide a “perfect” TV picture on a display panel. The display then takes the “perfect” picture, scales it, and shows it on its own display. Without encryption, the image can be altered.


Pro:Idiom is a proprietary content encryption system that is used in the hospitality, healthcare, and commercial markets. Typically, “low value” channels are provided unencrypted, but high value HD channels are encrypted with Pro:Idiom.

AES (advanced encryption standard) is an industry standard encryption process that is used as the encryption “engine” of many branded encryption systems. In a digital signage network, AES can be used to protect user access to assets and content.


When placing digital signage and passenger information on a network, it's important to be conscious of overloading the network. Make sure that you thoroughly test the network for performance, PCI compliance, and security. The goal should be to avoid timeouts, disconnects, drops, non-compliance outages, and at the same time enable immediate playback.

Info-Tech Insight

Triple-lock is a digital signage solution with all three security protocols that can be integrated into a single digital signage system. This simplifies installation, administration, and content management.

— Source: Media Star Systems, 2021; Digital Signage Today, 2020.

Develop a collaborative operating model for digital signage


It’s important to consider the team that will be responsible for operating and maintaining the digital signage. A leader for this initiative may have been identified, but they can’t work in a silo. Decide on a cross-functional team of individuals that will be responsible for the daily tasks, strategic plans, and maintenance of the hardware and software.

IT will play a role in this initiative but will need to collaborate with other departments, such as the operations and transportation management team, to properly support and maintain the signage.


The IT and IT security departments own and manage the digital signage and IPTV system to provide security, ensure proper network connectivity, and enable the rest of the business to be successful as a user of the signage. IT and IT security are the back-of-house administration team that takes care of the items end users would not see, such as device protection, end-user and consumer protection, and auditing.


The operations and facilities departments may be partially responsible for the installation and maintenance of digital signage and passenger information due to skills with the departments. The IT team may own a project but that doesn’t mean they are exclusively responsible for every initiative. Some vendors and third parties may also provide the installation and ongoing maintenance of digital signage and passenger information solutions.

A diagram of operating model

Note: Operating models vary per organization depending on size and business needs. This is only an example of the most high-level and generic operating model.

Design your digital signage technical architecture

A diagram of digital signage technical architecture.

Note: System inputs, outputs, and architecture vary per vendor. This is only an example of the most high-level and generic implementation.

Build customer loyalty with immersive passenger experiences.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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  • A proven framework based on deep industry insight and best practices.
  • Easy-to-use customer persona and journey mapping tools to identify opportunities and gaps.
  • A detailed comparative analysis of leading digital display vendors.

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Kevin Tucker


  • Medik Ghazikhanian, Executive Officer, ITS, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Brian Buddemeyer, VP, Information Technology Spang & Company
  • Jay Stanley, VP IT, Heartland Food Products Group
  • Steven Schmidt, Managing Partner, Durable Goods, Infotech Research Group
  • Larry Fretz, Vice President, Industry, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Rob Redford, Practice Lead, Industry, Info-Tech Research Group

Search Code: 101378
Last Revised: April 28, 2023


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