-20 Sep, 2014
Waiting for a bus never needs to be frustrating again with the advent of smart bus stops. Often made from repurposed metals and other recycled materials, these bus stops respond in real time to customer queries, changes in bus schedules, and traffic conditions to keep customers informed about the status of their journey. In short, they do everything you expect a traditional bus stop to do (providing you with a sheltered place to wait for your ride) and a whole lot more into the bargain.
The features and advantages of smart bus stops.
Not all smart bus stops are the same: some of them have innovative features that others do not. However, in general, smart bus stops are characterised by the following four features:
- Enhanced communication: most smart bus stops are integrated with real time communication systems which enable customers to press a call button to either hear an automated message providing information about the next buses, or to talk to a human operative.
- Creativity: art work, miniature lending libraries, free wifi, and interactive games are just a few of the creative additions to smart bus stops that have been implemented around the world. These creative touches help customers waiting at the bus stop to feel less bored and frustrated as they wait for their bus to arrive.
- Real time responses to changes in bus timetables: electronic displays providing details of upcoming bus journeys are a common feature of smart bus stops, and these digital displays usually have the capacity to change automatically if a bus will be arriving more quickly than expected, if the bus is delayed, or if a route has to be changed at short notice (for instance, due to unexpected traffic in the area).
- Attractive and eco friendly designs: smart bus stops still provide those waiting for buses with shelter, and they tend to be designed to maximise comfort with wider seats, glass that protects against the sun’s glare, wide rain shields and platforms made from sturdy and eco friendly materials (such as recycled carbon and metals). Many smart bus stops also use solar panels on their roofs to generate free wifi or to power games and digital bus timetables.
More and more people ought to ditch their cars and start using more public transport as this can only have a positive impact on the environment. Smart bus stops are an excellent way to make public transportation a more attractive and viable option for both commuters and leisure travellers across the world.
Which cities are already using smart bus stops?
Smart bus stops are being rolled out worldwide piblic transport. Let’s take a look at two case studies of where they have been used already:
Singapore: creativity and connectivity are key.
In Singapore, smart bus stops offer free wifi, free charging points for electronic devices, and an interactive display on the wall which provides reams of local information including news headlines and weather reports. These bus stops are also equipped with book shelves containing titles which customers are asked to read and swap for other books that they have already read. Solar panels installed on the roof are used to power the bus stops, and of course there are all of the basic features you would expect including seats, shelter from the weather, and a display showing the relevant bus times.
Barcelona: harnessing the Internet of Things.
Barcelona is marketing itself more and more as a Smart City, and its installation of smart bus stops is a further step in that direction. These bus stops offer wireless connectivity, free USB charging points and regularly updated local information including traffic news and headlines. Barcelona’s smart bus stops are not just used by citizens and tourists who are waiting for buses: they are also used by anyone seeking a free wifi point, a place to charge their phone, or a tourist information point (as these bus stops almost all contain comprehensive tour guides for the city). Have you tried out a smart bus stop yet? Make sure to use the features to the full!