Metro Magazine’s Innovative Solutions Award shines a light on the partnerships that bring advancements to riders across the United States, and Urban Solar is proud to have their work among this year’s recipients.
The nomination came as a result of their work with the transit authority in Athens, Georgia, a thriving university town with one of the highest rates of transit ridership per capita in the United States. Athens’ population has grown by 15 per cent in recent years, and the consolidated city-county wanted to not only serve their ridership’s growing volume but to also explore new avenues to serve them better.
Athens Transit was keen to invest in technologies and amenities like safety lighting, smart phone charging, systemwide WIFI access, signage for real-time route scheduling, security cameras, and panic buttons. Many of these advancements rely on an efficient and reliable power supply, and solar was an intuitive option.
Environmental impact was also a consideration, and solar energy was an obvious choice. Renewable, eligible for carbon credit, and perfectly suited to Georgia’s sunny weather, a solar lighting and power system just made sense to Butch McDuffie, Transit Director at the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, GA.
In addition to their desire to select modern and sustainable products, that finding a budget-friendly solution was also important. Urban Solar’s standalone products made sense for a number of reasons. With an independent, re-charging battery on each unit, they are completely off-grid and eliminate utility costs. Installation was also simple and required no trenching. Each unit was installed at minimal cost and with little or no impact on existing infrastructure like roads and sidewalks.
It’s fitting that Athens Transit’s modern approach to connecting its ridership to one another, bus drivers, and city managers is now supported by an equally innovative solar power system. These forward-thinking features are both improving safety and enhancing rider experiences across Athens-Clarke County, and Urban Solar is excited to be a part of this project’s success.