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Artistically designed bus stops that periodically move around

Image credit: Wikipedia

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 20, 2021
Replace all bus stops in a city with standard shipping-container-sized platforms/frames upon which the local artists and architects can build creative sitting areas. Periodically move different bus stop installations to different locations.

The standardized bus stop frame becomes an empty canvas for an artist/architect to create upon.

  • Improve the quality of life in a city by making it look nicer and fresh.
  • Make people look forward to what their local bus stop will look like the next day.
  • Make bus stops double as a place of enjoyment and an area where people are more likely to socialize.
  • Give local artists and architects a chance to shine and have their creations appreciated.
  • Provide local artists and the city with an opportunity to earn some income from the sale of the installations after their time on the streets has passed.

How it works
  1. Gradually remove all bus stops in a city and replace them with an empty lot the size of a shipping container. For larger bus stops make it 2, 3, 4 container sizes.
  2. Build several transportable container-sized platforms/frames and make them available to artists, architects, and architecture students. On top of the frames, they would build useful art installations that serve as sitting areas / bus stops.
  3. Using standard container-loading trucks, periodically move different bus stop installations to different locations.
  4. When each installation has been rotated to every bus stop in the city, phase it out by selling it off at an auction. The money from the auction is split 50/50 between the creator and the city. If nobody buys it, decommission the platform by recycling. Return the frame back into the roster so that a new installation can be built on it.

Creative contributions

Add games/exercise equipment

Michaela D
Michaela D Sep 28, 2021
For me, the worst part about being at a bus stop is that I actually need to wait for the bus. Time would pass by much more easily if I had something to do. For example, there could be simple exercise equipment or outdoor games. Due to lack of space, it doesn't need to be a bunch of equipment, just a single piece would do!

Image source
Michaela D
Michaela D18 days ago
I share your concern. This is why I was mainly thinking of equipment for light exercise that doesn't make you sweat if you take it easy.
Darko Savic
Darko Savic18 days ago
The only downside I can imagine with having exercise equipment on bus stops is that people might not want to build up a sweat. It depends where they are going:)
Darko Savic
Darko Savic18 days ago
I had pretty much this exact idea in my draft folder to post sometime in the future:)

Examples of what such bus stops could look like

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 20, 2021
A few examples of what I imagine these could look like:

Such bus stops could also literally move around

Povilas S
Povilas S Sep 28, 2021
I first thought that what you mean by "move around" is that they would turn around depending on whether some public transport is approaching the stop or not. The platform pictured in the cover image looks like specifically designed to have a little green barrier in the back to distance the people sitting there from the street. Such barrier could be made way bigger/thicker, for example - a high green wall. That way the people sitting there would be separated from the street view, noise and smell at least to an extent.

When some public transport would be due to arrive, the platform would turn, allowing the people sitting there to access the street. When the public vehicle left, it would turn back again facing the sidewalk. Apart from serving the function to distance people from the street, such turning stops would at the same time inform the travelers about the approaching vehicle in a rather playful way. The platform could start blinking, making a sound, or otherwise signaling before turning around so that the people would know and won't climb on or off it during the turning. There could also be "gates" that would close before the turning and open after it.

One serious drawback that I see is if such stops were near the streets with very frequent movement of public transport the platform would have to turn back and forth very often, especially during peak hours. Maybe it would be rational to install such turning bus stops near the streets with high traffic but rather little public transport movement (e.g. - near busy roads that are further away from the city center).
Darko Savic
Darko Savic18 days ago
If the platforms rotated the way you describe, they could be composed of circles (with a few dead triangles that don't move). The circles would gradually rotate around all day, every day so that the exit point faced the bus every time the bus gets there. It would be a fun way for people to anticipate when that will be.

To be accurate, the platform would have to receive a signal from an approaching bus while it's a kilometer away. That way the rotation can speed up, slow down or even pause to wait for the bus. When the bus leaves, the rotation starts again.

By "moving around" I meant picking up the entire construction and loading it on a truck, then move it to a different location. Shifting different bus stops around.
Povilas S
Povilas S17 days ago
Darko Savic Yes, I understood that you meant that kind of movement later, but I interpreted it differently at first and it became an inspiration for this contribution:)

The main justification for turning in my proposed idea was that the passengers would get shielded from the street view, noise, and smell when facing the sidewalk. There would be an additional barrier (like a green wall for example) in the back of the construction to enhance this effect. If the bus stop were turning around its axis gradually all day the shielding effect would lose its value because the people sitting on a rotating platform would be facing anything that gets in the platform's way while turning.

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General comments

Samuel Bello
Samuel Bello19 days ago
Based on the sample pictures that were uploaded. The extra utility that will be derived by moving the bus stops components periodically may not be worth the effort that will be required to move its bigger components.

It is also worth noting that bus stops are one of the most important locational markers for travelers. Frequently changing any major features of the bus stop will increase the chances of people who are not familiar with the environment getting lost or a bit frustrated.

Other than the fact that the idea promotes the creation of artistic works, it is hard to see how this beats the traditional bus stops that have LCD screens that display the most ideal forms of entertainment for the location. They can also make paid adverts for the small businesses in the area to generate revenue.
Michaela D
Michaela D19 days ago
Great idea! Maybe instead of replacing the actual bus stops, the new structures can be added next to them. This would make it easier to rotate them without having to put the standard seats back in their place.

Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeulariaa month ago
Hi Darko Savic, I love this idea! It's great because it puts together public infrastucture, creativity, original design and art. However, we should not forget three important things in order to keep the bus stops as bus stops:
-People should know they are a bus stop: Everyone has experienced what it's like to go to another city or country and try to find the bus stops just to realize the "bus stop" is actually just a post in the middle of the street, or a bench of some sort. I believe it would be important to still maintain the signaling of the Bus Stop in order to avoid such problems.
-They should integrate the most novel and useful information you can find in a regular Bus Stop: I'm talking about having a map of each line passing through the stop, an orientative schedule and possibly a screen showing when the next buses are coming. These could also be achieved with screens so that the information is automatically updated when the bus stop is plugged somewhere else.
-They should be nice and creative but not so nice that they become the new "park" and get filled with people that are just hanging out instead of actively waiting for a Bus. A lot of people are tired and just want to rest while they wait for the bus. If the place is crowded and/or noisy, that would probably bother the commuters more than anything else.

Any ways in which we can target those issues?
Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
Manel Lladó Santaeularia Agreed. The bus stop signage and the timetable information could be built into the frame before the artists get to work on it. That way, some things remain universal and clearly visible.

If hanging out at bus stops becomes a problem I can think of a few options:
- Get the local police to frequently stop and ask questions, give reminders to groups of people who are obviously just hanging out. People might not like to be "watched" all the time so would be inclined to hang out elsewhere.
- Put up rules and etiquette on such bus stops. Have undercover inspectors frequently visit and hand out fines for not following the rules. People will then be nice to everyone because they never know who is around. Just hanging out somewhere where they can't be wild with their friends might make teenagers reconsider their choice of hangout space.
- Put city cameras overseeing the bus stops. This is a double-edged sword. Nobody likes to be watched.