Street Furniture Australia have collaborated with Mobility Design Lab from Monash University to reimagine how urban bus stops and shelters could look, feel and work in the near future.
The concept proposal was recently shortlisted for the Smarter Hobart Challenge, an international design competition launched by the City of Hobart in 2020.
The competition called for “innovative and exciting ideas to help transform Hobart’s public transport services, and help make waiting for the bus reliable, safe, accessible and socially connective.”
More than 120 entries were received from teams in Australia, the US, India, South America, Russia, Ukraine, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy and France. The concept by Monash University and Street Furniture Australia was one of five finalists.
Bus travel can sometimes suffer from “a less optimal image” compared with other modes of transport, said Selby Coxon, Director of Monash Mobility Design Lab, however, “many of the issues that emerge from poor passenger experience can be mitigated by improved connectivity and experience at the places that patrons first engage with the service, such as at the bus stops,” he said.
The team’s concept therefore aims to promote connection, reduce waiting anxiety and enhance the travel experience, said Mark Armstrong, Design Director with Street Furniture Australia and Adjunct Professor with Monash University.
“The proposal offers an information-rich inclusive passenger experience via a central display for each bus stop that allows patrons to view and post information through a smartphone platform,” said Mark.
“This concept responds to passenger anxieties, such as a sense of control, confidence and personal security, as well as the potential to engage with local community information throughout the bus route.”
The shelter includes seating, lighting, signage, shade and a weather shield. A central smart column houses sensors and a battery, charged by solar panels on the canopy.
The form language lends itself to the addition of other amenities such as planter boxes and bicycle parking.
The Monash Mobility Design Lab combines evidence-based research methods and real-world solutions with design-led innovations to understand and improve the physical, environmental and experiential aspects of mobility. From personal to public transport, bikes to buses, family cars to autonomous vehicles, their researchers are experts at designing to better understand how and why we get from place to place.
Street Furniture Australia invests in collaborations with universities, government and landscape architects to activate public spaces and to better understand public space users and communities. Recent projects include ChillOUT with Georges River Council, UNSW and the University of Sydney, and Homify with the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and CM+.