IF YOU WERE ASKED to design the ‘bus stop of the future’ what would you come up with? Well the boffins at RATP have been applying their minds to that question and this is what they have come up with.
It’s a concept bus stop on the Boulevard Diderot opposite the Gare de Lyon railway station and it’s used by three daytime bus routes as well as five night bus services.
Designed by urban design specialist Marc Aurel, this bus stop is really a multi-purpose public space designed to blend into the urban environment. The design is modular and can be tailored to suit any location.
Whilst here, you can buy a bus ticket, get information about the neighbourhood or have a coffee.
You can hire an electric bike …
… or even borrow a book from the small lending library. There is free wireless internet access and improved space and seating for bus users. The lighting in the bus stop varies automatically to suit day and night conditions and the central section is heated in the colder weather. The signage is excellent and the touch screens give easy access to a mass of information.
Of special interest to me is the innovative sound environment in the bus stop.
Some of the sounds inside the bus stop:
The sounds inside the bus stop vary. Music composed by Michel Redolfi is broadcast when the bus stop senses that a bus is approaching and a variety of sounds are generated when a hand is passed over a sonic panel.
Interestingly, there are no loudspeakers in the bus stop. Instead of using speakers, the sounds are broadcast directly through the glass roof and the vertical glass panels making up the walls of the bus stop.
What the boffins at RATP have done is to come up with a concept bus stop where spending time is about so much more than simply waiting for a bus. It may be a concept bus stop at the moment but let’s hope that it, or at least something like it, could become quite normal before too long.