By Mike Kinney
Six solar-powered kiosks that were recently installed at San Pablo city centers inform residents about city events, city news, project updates and other useful information, including local business advertisements, according to Jill Mercurio, director of Public Works for the city.
The new kiosks leased by the Soofa Corporation are located at City Hall, the Public Library, Senior Center, Community Center on Road 20, Rumrill Sports Park and Davis Park.
“These kiosks have three basic components to them,” Mercurio said. “The first one is it pulls information from the city calendar, our Twitter account and our Economic Development Corporation. The second component is that the City can create content, it has the ability to give project updates, information on illegal dumping and other City information the community needs to know about. It has the ability to get the information out in English or Spanish. The last component is on the lower bottom of the left hand is for local businesses to advertise to the community.”
Mercurio said the kiosks are not just convenient sources of information, but also another way to communicate with citizens who may not otherwise have access to this information.
“We really needed way to communicate to citizens who did not have access to social media or the City website to let them know what was going back when we got a covid-19 housing grant,” Mercurio said. “It was then we realized the City government needed to re-think how we wanted to conduct our digital and electronic outreach to the community. So ,the new information kiosks were key in making that happen.”
San Pablo is the first Bay Area city to deploy the kiosks. Other Bay Area cities have inquired about having the information centers in their cities, Mercurio said.
The cost for all six kiosks was $44,000, including capital investment and getting them online. Annually the cost all kiosks is $18,000, which includes operation costs, maintenance and leasing, Mercurio said.
“The City of San Pablo is thrilled to be able to offer this technology to our residents and businesses,” Mercurio said.