Taking the bus can be time consuming, boring, and can result in a negative experience. In 2015, the University of London ran a program where they dressed up several bus stops in London, England, with different themes to enhance the experience. As a result, these bus stops become popular not only with riders, but also passers-by. In short, rather than being a utilitarian element, a bus stop became part of the public realm and was transformed into a community space.
In Pittsburgh, buses are used by many residents as the main mode of transportation. However, most stops lack shelter or seating. To this end, we are proposing to create a new type of bus stop – one that not only serves as a place to wait for the bus, but also engages the community:
- Large areas of chalkboard painting to be used by children or riders to communicate and create art
- Different types of seating – benches and swings – to create a more playful environment
- A speaker to play low-volume classical music
- Bicycle parking for commuters
- Bicycle tool kit
- Solar panels connected to USB charging plugs
- A free library
- LED light that is connected to the solar panels
This bus stop can be replicated in several neighborhoods and serve as a community gathering space that is pleasant and safe, while engaging the community through chalkboards and community boards. Children will be encouraged to draw on the boards, thereby making the bus stop an ever-changing art installation.
This project encourages transit usage in Pittsburgh by showing how it can be a more engaging, fun and innovative experience.