More often than not, when you hear the words “bus stop” you probably picture defaced and smelly shelters littered with cigarette butts and empty beer cans. However, it’s an entirely different story in certain cities around the world, where passengers wait in some of the trendiest stops to ever hit the public transportation arena. Public transportation is oftentimes frowned upon, and as a result many communities are working together to better the environment, look and feel of their city. Call it alternative, enthusiastic, or even odd, but some of the bus stops created are nothing like the traditional, dull, humdrum ones that have been around forever and a day. With that being said, having fun and modernized bus stops are a great way to bring the community together and add a bit of variety to the scene.
Below are 10 bus stops you’ll actually enjoy while waiting for your ride.
10 10- Atlanta, GA- Salvaged Bus Stop
Made from 3 old school buses, sculptor Christopher Fennell designed this stop out of three old school buses. The bus stop was designed as part of the “artification project” by the Athens Area Art Council. According to inhabitat.com, the bus stop is composed of three traditional yellow school buses from the years ’62, ’72, and ’77. The pieces were then welded together along with the seats taken from an old Atlanta city bus.
9 9- Baltimore- Maybe The Most Literal “BUS” Stop-
A bus stop in the shape of ‘BUS’… Not sure you can get any more literal than that. According to the Government Executive, the bus stop measures 14 feet tall and 7 feet wide. Each letter can shelter up to four people and “welcomes” different kinds of posturing. For example, travelers can lie down in the curve of the S, while the B is constructed to shelter physically disabled riders. The Creative Alliance explained that the “BUS STOP” was created as a place for the “community to enjoy, interact, and meet while waiting for the bus.” Their mission was to “transform the dull experience of waiting for the bus to an entertaining, leisurely space.”
8 8- Turkey- McDonald’s Bus Stop
If there aren’t enough McDonald’s in the world, you can now order while you are waiting for the bus, that is if you are in Istanbul. Known for ornate architecture and admirable history, Istanbul can now add modernized to their name. Public transportation patrons can order a snack or a meal while they wait for their bus. It’s been referred to as a unique and visually creative concept that has enhanced McDonald’s visibility better than classic advertising. It’s also a unique way to make waiting, which is one of the most hated things, an enjoyable experience.
7 7- London- LEGO Stop
Found on Regent Street in London, this amazing bus stop took 100,000 LEGO’s and 14 days to create. That’s including seats, signs, and the see-through back wall. According to gizmag.com, the bus stop is near Hamley’s Toy Shop and was designed by “certified Lego professional,” Duncan Titmarsh. The bus stop was installed as part of Transport for London’s “year of the bus campaign.”
6 6- Japan- Giant Fruits
Japan, often celebrated for its extravagant architecture, has constructed very noteworthy and unique bus stops. If you ever visit Japan, specifically the Konagai region, keep your eyes peeled for bus stops shaped as fruits. Bus patrons can sit inside a melon, orange, banana, strawberry or tomato while they wait for their ride. According to seattlepi.com, the fruity bus shelters were constructed for the 1990 Travel Expo, but have since become a local tourist attraction. There are 16 fruit-shaped stops in total, and each provide a pleasant and fun environment.
5 5- Austria- Tower Bus Stop
In a town with just 1,000 residents, the local cultural institution, “Kultur Krumbach” hired seven architects to construct a bus stop to try to boost tourism. Their reward was a free vacation to the village. The reward piqued the architects’ interests enough that each entered a design and their bus stops became a reality. According to thrillist.com, all seven bus stops are now in use and their designs range from a mega camera to a spiky structure made out of rods. One of the favorites is the tower-like bus stop, which allows everyone to climb and enjoy a panoramic view of Krumbach. The stop is described as having a clear forest of columns, which creates amazing scenery while surrounding a winding staircase.
4 4- Amsterdam- “Scale of Shame”
The latest in controversial technology has made its way to Amsterdam where they put “Fitness First.” This controversial bus stop displays the weight of the person sitting on the bench. Their weight is displayed on a 2D scale which is embedded into the wall. The purpose of this is actually advertisement based. According to wired.com, the idea is to shame overweight bus riders into signing up for the gym chain Fitness First. The question is, if you were waiting for the bus, would you stand or sit?
3 3- Paris- “Le station de bus du future”
“Le station de bus du future” is being tested at the “Gare de Lyon” train station in Paris. The station has kiosks, seating, a self-serve electric bike station, space for vendors, and an interactive touch screen to show route information. According to seattlepi.com, the bus station has been constructed to blend into the urban environment. It’s also described as a place of “social innovation” as there are transit shelters that provide a variety of services ranging from a library and snacks, to phone charging outlets and bar-style tables.
2 2- Holland- “The Amazing Whale Jaw”
Found in the Netherlands, this transportation beauty takes beautifying the environment to a different level. Hoofddorp, Spaarne Hospital’s lower level bus stop has become known as “The Amazing Whale Jaw.” The bus stop is completely constructed of glued-together polystyrene foam, making it the world’s largest structure made from synthetic materials. According to the beautyoftransport.com, the bus station has a small office at one end, next to a neighboring pair of toilets. At the other end, there is a molded-in bench to provide more seating.
1 1- Florence, Italy- The “EyeStop”
Developed by MIT Senseable City Lab for the City of Florence, Italy, this bus stop is downright amazing. According to CNET, “The EyeStop” has an interactive touch screen displays maps for riders, it’s solar-powered, and shows in real-time how far away the bus is. The bus stop actually starts to glow when the bus is close to arriving, and sends information to your cell phone. According to seattlepi.com, riders can even post ads and announcements to an electronic bulletin board at the bus stop.