Armenia’s first ‘smart bus stop’ built near central church – not capital
On October 8, the city of Etchmiadzin celebrated its 2,704 year anniversary since its founding.
In honour of this occasion, the first and only ‘smart stop’ in the country was opened. At the smart stop, one can charge a phone, connect to the internet, use an ATM and view a screen that gives constant updates on public transportation.
More on the ‘smart stop’
The mayors of Yerevan and Etchmiadzin, Hayk Marutyan and Diana Gasparyan, respectively, participated in the opening ceremony. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also attended and announced his interest in modernising technology in the country.
Etchmiadzin is not a large city and is approximately 20 kilometres from Yerevan. It is considered one of the cultural and religious centres of the country – a sacred place, especially for Catholics in Armenia.
According to Etchmiadzin’s mayor Diana Gasparyan, the purpose of the smart stop is to improve conditions while local residents wait for public transport, and maximise their waiting time.
Now with the help of special screens at the smart stop, people will be able to find out information on their particular route, including the time of arrival and the overall routes through the city.
In addition to its basic functions, the stop will be useful for active mobile phone users. One can charge the phone and connect to wireless. There is also an ATM and payment terminal. One can also receive information about time the air temperature, even from the street, with the help of a ticker, visible from a distance.
The stop will also be useful for visitors to the city. They will be able to know where they are headed, what to see, where to eat and where to rest.
The new stop is enclosed, with ventilation and heating systems. And next to it there are special garbage cans for sorting waste.
City officials plan to gradually turn all public transport stops into smart stops.
Similar stops in Armenia
In July of this year, another smart stop opened in the second-largest city in Armenia, Gyumri. This stop does not have the same features and services as the one n Etchmiadzin, but it was built from investments by Gyumri-born entrepreneur Norayr Davtyan, who lived in Moscow for approximately 20 years and returned to Armenia last year.
“We left to Russia when I was two, then returned to Gyumri after the ‘velvet revolution’ (spring 2018 – JAMnews). I see my future son in Armenia. Before we finally moved to Armenia, I came for a month and a half to see what it was like to live and conduct business. By November, we had made the move,” Davtyan explained.
In Gyumri, solar panels are used to power the smart stops, generating electricity that people can then use to charge their phones.
Over the next three years in Gyumri, 70 smart stops are planned, of which 35 to be built this year.
In July 2017, the European Union constructed solar panels on two bus stops in Yerevan which can also be used to charge phones, tables and other electronic devices.
The solar panels at Yerevan bus stops were constructed with support from the European Union’s initiative to help Armenia become more energy efficient. Peter Svitalskiy, head of the EU delegation in Armenia, declared that the purpose of this initiative is to promote the use of other energy sources and reduce the country’s reliance on energy from Russia.