AR LRT Experience

An attempt to push forward future-proof creative public transit experience 


Modern public transit hasn’t advanced much into the technological age but our solution will launch it in a 5G future. This solution focuses on the LRT ION Trains; the new public transit method in Waterloo/Kitchener. The Region of Waterloo is currently looking at promoting the trains and so we really wanted to capitalize on that. Rogers is also able to ensure a 5G network running along LRT routes in Waterloo.

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Understanding the people 

First, as a team we decided that based on the brief, the “Average Canadian” should be defined as the average Canadian internet user. In our research data from Statistics Canada, we found that the average Canadian internet consumer is aged 25-44 and that there is no difference in gender. 

  • They have about 4 devices, including a smartphone that has a data plan over 3GB.

  • Their main online activities include shopping, social media, emails, and video streaming.

  • And the most surprising, for us as students, is that the average Canadian spends about 5-21 hours online PER WEEK. 

Looking to make these 2 dimensional descriptions a little deeper, we did some information gathering and created personas for further analysis.We found that our personas had several things in common: disliking internet lag and buffering, reliance on the internet to do things, and the main one: not knowing why they should switch to 5G.

In the end, 4 personas were created to define the average Canadian consumer according to data from Statistics Canada.


Project goal

The goal of this solution is to make a fun and informative public transit experience that brings more value for the money spent on a ticket. We intend on doing this with 5G to communicate the value of the new network to consumers in an immersive experience that they can relate to on a day-to-day basis.


The first thing we did was identify the stakeholders involved in this solution so that we could satisfy their needs. Rogers, obviously wants to demo their 5G technology and spread their brand awareness. They have advised us to make an AR Public Transit experience with some sort of gamification. Therefore, our design needs a game.

Our Partner also advised us to focus on the LRT ION trains because Waterloo wants to highlight those right now. And of course, we knew about the issue they have with the displayed maps so we included the interactive map feature. 

Our other stakeholder was the passengers. What do they do while on the train? We found that many like to look out the window and avoid talking to strangers by looking at their phones. So we wanted to make sure that if we had a display on the window of the train, that people could still look out the windows and have a clear view of what’s outside.

Then another important factor in our formative design phase was coronavirus. We wanted to try to minimize touching of the windows in the trains to avoid the potential spread of virus and have hand sanitizer nearby. Hence, the game is played on the phone and not directly on the windows as we originally planned.


Once we better understood our idea and explored our datasets, we began additional ideation for our vision. We quickly settled on the basic components and layout of our visualization through several quick rounds of sketches. We explored interactions around our map and how we could display states, metro areas, and cities that would allow users to click on different geographic areas and display the home value and rental price data. We also reviewed patterns that expressed different ways users could filter the data and modify the map and associated information.

After exploring various visualization ideas, we decided to deliver an interactive chart that allows users to explore a map, selecting a specific state or city/metro area and gain historical insight into the housing and rental prices. Users should be able to explore the data and see a chart that displays historical trends, with the ability to filter the data to only display one, or all, of the primary categories.

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Interactive touch screens at the stations + AR windows + a mobile game that you play on the windows

User journey

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Here you can see the whole user journey through the perspective of Sarah on a normal weekday of commuting. She begins and ends the journey with a mobile notification from the Littlest Hobo.

  • This solution hits the pain points of our persona and meets her expectation of a richer commuting experience, and more value for the money she spent.

    • It helps Sarah to plan her time better by providing live tracking and a live map. 

    • It gives her more value for money by enriching the existing commuting experience with added features and providing information on events and promotions (to help her to save money). 

    • And gives her a more enjoyable experience overall on her way to work.



Our user journey for this solution begins at the station. The GRT/LRT has had issues with people stealing their paper display maps. So we decided to include a digital map feature.

Here you can see the current paper maps on the left, and our new interactive solution on the right. 


In our solution, a commuter can look at the map, zoom in, search for local events and promotions, and track their train in real-time.
The Station Screen also has a prompt from our mascot: The Littlest Hobo, to download the GRT App and interact with it on the train. 

For those of you who don’t know, The Littlest Hobo is a Canadian icon from the 60s and 80s. A little nomad German Shepherd that would go from Canadian Town to Canadian town helping people and saving lives. He will really speak to our target age group of 25-44 year olds, while also being fun for those who do not recognize him.


The Littlest Hobo also fits within the Fido branding.


In our design, he continues to help Canadians by sending you a notification to hop on board when the train arrives and play on the GRT app!


And that is where you can continue your journey with The Littlest Hobo in our phone game.

The Littlest Hobo is an AR play game where you can play fetch with The Littlest Hobo or have them dance for treats. When you run out of balls and treats, you can earn more by playing trivia about Rogers and the Technology sector within the region.

There is also the option to win prizes if you are a Rogers/Fido user!

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The window expands upon The Littlest Hobo game by having the pooch play on the windows when you throw a ball.
When no one is playing he will take a nap or he will chase away geese.
The USP of this game, as Lyndon eloquently put it: “It’s on the window, wouldn’t you want to play it?” 
Other features on the windows is a map that tells you where the train is, as well as safety information appearing in the event of an emergency.

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project positioning 

This solution aligns more with the Fido branding under the Rogers umbrella.We envision that this solution will become an active part of the daily commute for LRT passengers in the Kitchener/Waterloo area.It will enhance the daily commuting experience for an average Canadian consumer with 5G technology.


Our product includes an interactive GRT Map and AR Game that augments the mindless everyday commuting experience into an engaging, fully present experience.The fun, easy-to-play game and interactive navigation map brings our solution in direct competition to mobile navigation/map apps, and mobile games. But its USP is an immersive experience that allows commuters to get the most out of their transit ride. 


This solution meets the criteria of our project brief by being:The first real time demonstration of 5G in public transit. Giving passengers an opportunity to experience 5G in their daily lives and learn about it.And of course, celebrates Canadian culture.This product was created for commuters who want a fun and informative daily commuting experience. The AR Public Transit solution uniquely solves this by providing an interactive GRT map, an AR game, and access to real-time information on the GRT and events/promotions local to the Waterloo region.  


The next steps are to have a business plan made and for us meet with the Region of Waterloo to pitch our solution.