Wayfinding Kiosks Approved for Downtown San Diego

In the near future, residents and visitors in Downtown San Diego will be able to interact with digital ad kiosks- providing a vibrant and interactive source of public information, along with free wi-fi.

On June 6, 2023 the San Diego City Council approved a 10-year corporate partnership agreement with IKE Smart City, LLC (IKE) and the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) for installation of 50 to 75 interactive wayfinding kiosks to be placed strategically throughout Downtown San Diego.

As background, in October 2021, a Request for Sponsorship was released by the City to identify a company with experience in installing wayfinding solutions that would benefit residents, visitors, and local businesses in Downtown. KMA was retained to evaluate the proposal submitted by IKE and the DSDP. In support of the analysis, KMA profiled advertising revenue structures for three California transit agencies and surveyed six cities across the country who had entered into similar kiosk agreements with IKE. Analysis of these agreements illustrated varying degrees of city responsibility for the kiosks (such as maintenance and content provision) resulting in differing revenue sharing structures. KMA ultimately concluded that the proposed revenue sharing structure with the City was market-justified.

The City and the DSDP are expected to share in revenue ranging between $630,000 and $1.4 million annually. The City Council voted 7-1 in favor of the agreement.  The kiosks will not only help tourists get around, but provide ample public benefits to everyone – including a healthy boost to the City’s general fund.

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