1. Coolest Bus Stops on Earth Are in This Tiny Austrian Town
Residents of Krumbach, a community of around 1,000 people in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg decided their community needed a public transit facelift, so they teamed up with seven architects from seven different countries, including Russia, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Chile, China and Japan, to design seven unique takes on the Buswartehüsle, or bus shelter. The fee for this architectural contract work? An all-expenses-paid holiday in the beautiful Krumbach area for each designer.
Check out the seven incredible Krumbach bus shelters in the gallery courtesy of project photographer Yuri Palman and get that petition ready to start a bus stop project in your neck of the woods.
2. The World’s Most Obvious Bus Stop Is Pure Design Genius
In an email, Mmmm's Emilio Alarcón told me that the idea was one of the first things that came to them during the design process. “We rejected it because it was too obvious,” he wrote. “After some months of working we were in a hole, the ideas we proposed weren't convincing for the community or to us, so we decided: Why not recover one of our first ideas? Why not make an obvious bus stop? And we did it!”
The sculpture is made from wood and steel, conceived like oversize pieces of urban furniture. Each letter is big enough to accommodate two to four people. The B can protect them from the elements, and the curve of the S invites passengers to lie back while they wait.
Alarcón told me that the designers wanted “to create a very friendly bus stop to contrast with the industrial city” of Baltimore and help revitalize the Highlandtown neighborhood. Like the Mmmm’s first public sculpture, the popular Meeting Bowls in New York City’s Times Square in 2011, the bus stop is the kind of playful design that encourages people to relax and interact.
While Alarcón said that the bus stop is site-specific and they haven't been commissioned to build more, its design is so universally appealing that it could work virtually anywhere.
The bus stop is built like a conventional street bench, with wood planks screwed to a steel structure that supports weight and prevents vandalism. Refreshingly, nowhere in the bus stop concept does there appear to be the kind of defensive architecture that is designed to keep people from loitering in a way that makes everyone less comfortable.
What’s more, said the designers, it’s “a bus stop you will never miss.”
3. Bus stop libraries to end commuters’ tedium
Initially set up in 11 bus stops, the municipality plans to install libraries in others soon. A total of 20,000 books were placed in small libraries since September when they were first introduced and they are being changed with new titles twice a week.
Commuters can either read the books at the seated bus stop or borrow it and read it somewhere else. They can return the books to another bookcase at another bus stop.
Speaking to A Haber, Bağcılar deputy mayor Mehmet Şirin said Istanbul's congested traffic made waiting times for buses longer and people sought things to do to kill time. "People always find excuses not to read books and the first excuse is usually that they don't have free time. This library is an answer to this excuse," he said. Şirin said that they were pleased with the positive feedback for the libraries. He said that bookcases in bus stop libraries are never left empty and they replaced the borrowed books with new ones every day.
Şirin said that adults, young adults and children can find a title to their taste in the libraries. "Our municipality has a library and we chose titles for the bus stop library among titles in demand in the municipality library.
Though the libraries are managed by the municipality, it is clearly inspired by a similar project in Israel's Haifa. A group of artists had installed bookcases in bus stops there in 2010. Libraries were quickly embraced by commuters who started donating books themselves.
4. Artists turn a bus stop in to a swinging '70s pad
Artists Jill and Suse (known only by their first names) "reclaimed the space" using only secondhand and recycled materials. Jill, who was the lead artist in the project, turned the stop into a 1950s lounge room in January 2016.
5. Cool! First air-conditioned bus shelter debuts in Hialeah
Now, relief has arrived.
The first air-conditioned bus shelter in the region was formally opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Hialeah.
Miami-Dade County and Hialeah officials gathered last Wednesday to formally open the air-conditioned bus shelter at the Hialeah Metrorail station. The structure has a sliding door and contains a row of seats inside.
The enclosed air-conditioned shelter has room for four people seated, and 11 standing.
It’s part of a pilot program that eventually could lead to the installation of more air-conditioned bus shelters in Miami-Dade.
The Hialeah facility might well be the first in the United States.
What is more common in the U.S. are heated bus stops in the Northeast and Midwest. Air-conditioned bus stops have proliferated in some desert locations in the Middle East such as Dubai.
“I read an article that up north they have heated shelters for buses, and then we found another where in Dubai they had an air-conditioned bus shelter and we said well, let’s try it out, that’s something that we know people want,” said Alice Bravo, the director of Miami-Dade County’s department of transportation and public works.
“We need to test the AC shelter out, so we installed this one shelter as a pilot program,” Bravo said. It was built at a cost of $65,000, she added.
Bravo, along with County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, whose district includes Hialeah, participated in the ceremony, as did Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernández.
Gimenez invited Ana Barquero, a Nicaragua-born bus rider in Hialeah, to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony as well. Barquero, 77, was one of the first passengers to use the air-conditioned bus shelter.
“This is fantastic,” Barquero said. “We should all cooperate so that we can keep it clean.”
At the ceremony, Gimenez said the goal is to make public transportation more attractive.
“This makes it more comfortable,” he said. “We’ve had complaints about the heat and about rain and this is a prototype. We hope to put at least 30 of these around the county, in those areas where we have a high ridership of elderly that need to have protection.”
Hernández said bus shelters with air conditioning “are a fantastic idea.”
Said Sosa: “This will change the lives of a lot of people.”
Bravo said another incentive to draw passengers to transit is an upgraded version of the Miami-Dade Transit Tracker application.
“It has real time information regarding buses, so people can manage their time better,” said Bravo before the start of the Hialeah ceremony. “It’s been completely revamped. It’s more user-friendly. You go to the feature called ‘near me’ and it tells you all the bus routes around you. It actually shows you where the buses are and how long they'll take to get to where you are.”
Bravo said the application also has a trip planning feature with bus and trolley routes.
“What we did was to get information from all the municipalities that have trolleys and we added that to the transit option,” said Bravo. “So if you say you’re going to Mercy Hospital, it’ll tell you take this bus, take the train and take the City of Miami circulator.”
In another move to draw transit riders, Bravo said that during August and September her office will give away weekly transit passes that are good for Metrorail and Metrobus travel.
“We want August and September to be Try Transit months and we’re working with different partners and promotions to give away seven-day passes,” she said. “We are also using social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, for promotions where you could win the seven-day passes.”
6. These Bus Stops Left Over From the Soviet Union Are So Wonderfully Bizarre
The local bus stop proved to be fertile ground for local artistic experimentation in the Soviet period, and was built seemingly without design restrictions or budgetary concerns. The result is an astonishing variety of styles and types across the region, from the strictest Brutalism to exuberant whimsy.
Soviet Bus Stops is the most comprehensive and diverse collection of Soviet bus stop design ever assembled, including examples from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus and Estonia.
7. Singapore May Have Designed the World's Best Bus Stop
What if the humble bus stop could be a place you actually looked forward to frequenting? That’s the question the Singaporean firm DP Architects aimed to answer. “We wanted to redesign a commonplace thing we take for granted,” says Seah Chee Huang, the firm’s director.
Now, thanks to DP Architects in collaboration with various agencies of the Singaporean government, there’s a bus stop in Jurong, an area in the southwest of the island city state, that has elements you might find in a café, park, or your living room—all places you’d probably prefer over a bus stop.
The stop features ample seating, a rack of books geared for all ages, from Enid Blyton to Ray Bradbury, bicycle parking, a swing, artwork by the local illustrator Lee Xin Li, and a rooftop garden, complete with a small tree.
The space is also hyperconnected. In addition to the print books, users can scan a QR code to download e-books from the National Library, charge their phones, and peruse interactive digital boards that provide arrival times and a journey planner to find the fastest route. Screens also broadcast information on weather, news, and local events. Solar panels help offset electricity use.
It’s no accident that the bus stop is in Jurong. The government has made this area a testing site for “smart” innovations, in line with its initiative, launched in 2014, to make Singapore a “smart nation.” Technologies being developed include driverless vehicles, lights that dim or brighten in response to motion, and an automated system that senses when trash bins need emptying.
The bus stop has been in operation for six months, and in another six the government will determine which of its features to potentially include in other stops. Much depends on the public’s feedback, says Khoong Hock Yun, the assistant chief executive officer of the government’s Infocomm Media Development Authority, which has a hand in the project.
Khoong says that so far, it’s clear that one of the most popular elements is the phone charging station. “Cell phone batteries are never updated fast enough for us,” he laughs. “People always need chargers.” Passengers are also making good use of the interactive boards, he says.
Seah of DP Architects hopes his firm will have the opportunity to design more stops. “We want to make waiting for Singapore’s buses a joyful and enriching experience,” he says.
8. Giant Fruit-Shaped Bus Stops Line Streets in Japan
9. Pranksters install toilet and sink in BUS SHELTER - before the 'fun police' take it away
You wait all day for a bus to come along - then a toilet, sink and loo-roll holder turn up instead.
That's what happened when pranksters in a Surrey village took the phrase ‘public convenience’ to new levelsm and installed the bathroom fittings in a bus stop overnight.
The origin of the bizarre addition is unknown, but the bog-standard prank was described as "hysterical" by a parish council clerk.
But despite joke, the "fun police" have since taken been and taken the quirky installation away.
Parish council clerk Gaynor White, told Get Surrey she "couldn't believe it" when she heard about the toilet's appearance overnight.
The Worplesdon Parish Council Clerk continued: “I received a phone call just before midday and the groundsman said ‘you will never guess what I have found’.
“I have been the parish clerk for 15 and a half years, and I have never seen anything like it - it is hysterical really.
“The key question is - should this be considered a bus shelter improvement or simply money down the drain?
"Perhaps we should ask parishioners to share a penny for their thoughts on this one?”
Worplesdon Parish Council is responsible for looking after many of the bus shelters in the village.
During the past year, Mrs White said that a spate of vandalism has been occurring to the stops.
She said: “In October 2014 there was road accident in Rydes Hill.
"The stop was demolished and even though it was covered under insurance, it actually cost £6,000 to repair.”
Mrs White also mentioned another incident where she believes a ball bearing catapult was used to damaged the glass of a shelter in Woking Road.
She said: “There were neat little bullet shape holes going through the glass.”
The clerk said a bus stop in Jacobs Well Road was also attacked by vandals, adding to the growing total Worplesdon Parish Council spend on bus shelters.
Mrs White said: “The glass panes were smashed and we had to pay for the installation after Guildford Borough Council gave us three new panes of glass.”
Commenting on whether these incidents could be linked to the most recent bus stop addition, Mrs White mentioned that she thinks there are new pranksters on the scene.
"This time is different,” Mrs White said. “It was creative. The others incidents were actually destructive.”
The toilet, sink and loo-holder, which was actually used - despite not being plumbed in - has now been removed.
“It took quite a lot of effort to fix this, as it was actually screwed to the shelter - it wasn’t just dumped there," Mrs White said.
“I just don’t know why someone has chosen to do this.
“I personally took them to the municipal waste site in Slyfield to be recycled.
“The fun police have been to take the fun away, you could say."