Buses Replace Trains (BRT) Signage
Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC)
We worked with DzineSigns to create a certified New Zealand made passenger information sign connected to GWRC Open Data APIs.
March 2021
- GTFS RT / GW Open Data APIs
- Custom Hardware
- Amazon Web Services
- Serverless Functions
To maintain a safe and reliable operating environment, parts of the Wellington Rail Network are regularly closed for inspection and maintenance, with passenger train services replaced by buses (BRT).

In order to help communicate these service adjustments to customers, Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) has recently invested in a digital signal project to display BRT information (and other service alerts) at train stations.

We partnered with DzineSigns (an Upper Hutt based signage company) to produce a certified New Zealand made passenger information sign that automatically retrieves and displays service alerts from GWRC Open Data APIs.
The Solution

Octal developed a bespoke control unit that is installed in each sign. This communicates with our management system and controls the LED panels on the sign.

Many off-the-shelf signage management systems require an operator to log in to a portal (or worse, each individual sign!) to update the message displayed. To reduce the management overhead of this system, we developed a custom integration with GWRC's open data APIs (implementing the GTFS-RT standard) that automatically displays the service alerts relevant to a particular station. This requires no manual intervention beyond the existing process to add a service alert across the network.

Complicating matters, the signs are generally attached to a street light lamp post, which means the device only receives power at night time when the light is switched on. The device runs off battery power during the day and charges at night, and the solution provides for automated monitoring of battery health.

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