The rest areas along Iowa’s interstate highways now offer more information to motorists who’re stopping for a break. The Department of Transportation installed computer monitors in kiosks that allow limited computer access. Steve McMenamin of the DOT maintenance office, says the kiosks are the second phase of a program that already offers wireless internet access.
McMenamin says some of the kiosks have track ball access, others have touch screens. He says they’re meeting this week to talk about the information provided and some possible changes. The rest areas did have computer screens that showed weather and travel information, but now motorists are able to pick and choose what they see using the track balls or touch screens.
McMenamin says the kiosks give you access to the internet without the need for a computer. McMenamin says you don’t have quite the variety you would with your own computer, but he says there is still regional weather, local weather, and gas,food and lodging information that is specific to the reststop site.
McMenanmin says the contractor that services the kiosks sells advertising on them to recover their costs. He says you may see some adds as you scroll through the information. McMenamin says some of the companies are advertising statewide, so you could see things that are available statewide. McMenamin says so far the kiosks are being well received. He says they plan to tweak the information based on feedback from users.
He says they are making changes, so you may not see the same thing tomorrow that you see today. McMenamin says with bad weather behind us, they can focus on updating the sites. The are 40 rest areas across the state.