1An Austrian town is known for its ultra-modern bus shelters
Riding the bus in Krumbach, Austria, is like taking part in an architectural post-grad program. Residents of the community in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg decided their town needed a facelift, so they teamed up with architects from seven different countries (Russia, Norway, Belgium, Spain, Chile, China and Japan) to design seven unique takes on the public transit shelter. Boy did they deliver!
2A playful and "obvious" bus stop created by a Spanish collective for the city of Baltimore
In 2014, people waiting for the bus on South East Avenue in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore were treated to a public art sculpture. A Madrid-based artist collective, Mmmm, created the "obvious bus stop.” So obvious, in fact, it makes you wonder why the world isn't full of 14-foot-tall, 7-foot-wide three-letter bus stop typography sculptures that spell out the word BUS.
The shelter is the kind of playful design that encourages people to relax and interact. It's built like a traditional street bench, with wood planks screwed to a steel structure that supports weight and prevents vandalism.
3Little library bus stops dot the streets of a neighborhood in Istanbul
In 2014, Ba?c?lar, Istanbul's most populated district, started offering a "novel" service for commuters—bus stop libraries. The libraries are changed with new titles twice a week and patrons can either read the books at the seated stop or borrow it and read it somewhere else. They can return the books to any bus stop with a bookcase.
Ba?c?lar deputy mayor Mehmet ?irin said Istanbul's congested traffic made waiting times for buses longer and riders were looking for ways to pass slow 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.
4Artists turn a bus stop in to a swinging '70s pad
Groovy! In 2017, Valentine's Day commuters using a stop on the 546 bus route in Melbourne, Australia, were surprised to find it transformed into a 1970s living room. The stop was fitted out with an orange and brown cushioned "couch," a curtained window, and retro wallpaper adorned with kitsch artwork and a pot plant.
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.
5The first air-conditioned bus shelter in the U.S. debuts in Florida
While heated bus shelters are more commonplace in the northern part of the U.S., the first air-conditioned stop in the country was formally opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Hialeah, Florida in 2016.
The bus shelter, located at the Hialeah Metrorail station, is part of a pilot program that could lead to the installation of more air-conditioned bus shelters in Miami-Dade. The enclosed shelter has room for four people seated, and 11 standing. Here's to keeping cool!
6A book documents the bizarre bus shelters of the U.S.S.R
Soviet Bus Stops, by photographer Christopher Herwig, documents the strange design and unique legacy of—you guessed it—the largely abandoned bus shelters of the U.S.S.R.
Want more? Of course you do! Check out a video promoting the book, and the shelters, below:
7A Singaporean design firm creates a "one stop shop" bus shelter
What if the bus stop could be a place you actually looked forward to frequenting? That's the question a Singaporean firm, DP Architects, aimed to answer. The firm, in collaboration with various agencies of the Singaporean government, created a bus stop in Jurong that has elements you might find in a café, park, or your living room—places you'd probably prefer instead of a bus shelter.
The stop features ample seating, books for all ages, bicycle parking, a swing, artwork by local illustrator Lee Xin Li, and a rooftop garden, complete with a small tree. The space is also hyperconnected—in addition to 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. Whew—that's a lot of stuff!
8Fruit bus shelters are a major tourist attraction in Japan
16 adorable, fruit-shaped bus shelters, originally constructed for the 1990 Travel Expo, can still be found on the streets of Konagai, Japan. Why? Well, the stands have become a local tourist attraction in the region, and the giant fruit shapes (in the form of watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes, and oranges, to name just a few) are a tasty reminder that even bus stop design doesn't have to be dull and uninviting.
9A bus stop "bathroom" delights Surrey residents
Some good things aren't built to last.
Pranksters in a Surrey, U.K. village took the phrase "public convenience" to a new level by installing bathroom fittings in a bus stop in February 2015. The origins of the bizarre addition are still unknown, but it was described as "hysterical" by a parish council clerk after a long spate of vandalism on bus shelters in the area.
The sink and toilet, which was actually used, despite not being plumbed in, has since been removed.