• Project completed in under 8 weeks

  • Effective communication with multiple stakeholders

  • Aesthetic of totem gets positive reaction on social media

  • Project completed on-time and within budget

The project was delivered to time, cost and quality; and site issues were dealt with in an agile manner.” Scott Cooper, Centro

Customer requirements

Coventry City Council, working in partnership with Centro, and funded by the ERDF, were aiming to provide informative, inviting and interactive passenger information totems.

The totems, focussed in and around Coventry City centre, needed to achieve some key goals:

  • Be accessible for all
  • Include way finding maps to encourage and increase public transport patronage
  • Identify city attractions
  • Identify heritage sites
  • Be aesthetically pleasing

Playing host to a variety of sporting events, concerts and festivals; international business and art exhibitions, Coventry has a bustling tourist trade. This is all in addition to a large number of university students that need to navigate a campus that is spread across the city centre. Centro and Coventry City Council had to consider all of these factors when desiging the totems and interchange to gain maximum efficiency.

As a result of securing funding from the ERDF, Coventry City Council had an allotted timescale in which to utilise the budget. Due to this, and a number of other factors, the installation had to be completed within 8 weeks.

Coventry City council is also entering the UK City of Culture for 2021 and the European Capital of culture for 2023. This has won the key backing of English Heritage.

Solution and technology

The project required one interchange totem with wayfinding maps in addition to 16 bus stop totems displaying real time and scheduled information situated at various locations across Coventry City centre.

The bus stop totems – part of the new CitySpace range from 21st Century Passenger Systems Ltd, contained a 32” screen displaying relevant departure boards, showing real time information where available and scheduled information for the remainder of the vehicles. The data is delivered by 21st Century’s own powerful content management system for information estates, EPI (Electronic Passenger Information).

Containing a Single Board Computer running Windows Embedded Standard 7 (designed specifically for industrial purposes), the displays retrieve their data via a Wi-Fi connection courtesy of a private wireless “MESH” network provided to Coventry City Council by Now Wireless.

The ability to illuminate the bus stop totems was a key criteria on the project, and 21st Century employed the Zeta Panel – using LEDs to evenly disperse light across the entire poster. A third-party operations manual was also provided, allowing Coventry City Council to employ engineers to quickly and easily update posters as required.


With such a narrow timeframe to design, manufacture and install the units throughout Coventry City centre, communication between all the stakeholders was key to a successful delivery. Proactive management via daily communications, and adherence to PRINCE2 project management principles ensured that the totems were installed on-time and within budget.

The consultative design approach led to an aesthetic that complemented Coventry’s existing street furniture, and has been well received by the public, with positive comments featuring on Centro’s twitter feeds and other social media accounts.

21st Century Passenger Systems Ltd has over 1000 successful installations operational at various locations within the UK, the tried and tested build methodology employed ensures all parts tested prior to assembly and are manufactured completely in-house using high quality components from long-standing suppliers. Once complete, the totems must pass a Factory Acceptance Test before delivery, not only for the hardware, but for the software that drives the information displays, including a week-long soak test to ensure the correct handling of scheduled and real time data.



Connected systems, for connected journeys.