Eco-Friendly Bus Shelter Makes Mass Transit Tolerable

As appealing as public transportation is to our environmentally-conscious sides, the actuality of riding a city bus to work is somewhat underwhelming. Waiting at the stop may be the worst part of the experience, particularly in bad weather. British designer Tiffany Roddis has come up with a sustainable answer to the problem of inconvenient, uncomfortable and weather-exposed bus stops. Her EcoShel Sustainable Bus Shelter concept takes the less-than-pleasant parts of public transportation and makes them better for everyone.

The EcoShel is made of sustainable and recyclable materials, meaning that its overall negative environmental impact is very small. Heat and electricity are provided by solar panels and pressure pads in conjunction with generators. The shelter’s interior is kept comfortable enough that waiting for a bus isn’t torturous, so perhaps more commuters would be encouraged to leave their cars at home.

Inside the shelter, there’s no dealing with confusing timetables and horribly inaccurate schedules. The system uses a chart rather like London’s subway map: color-coded and easy to understand. The buses are linked to the shelters’ schedules via GPS so that the commuters waiting for them always know exactly how far away their desired buses are. Overall, Roddis hopes that designs like hers will some day be implemented so that the environmental impact of travel can be significantly reduced around the developed world.

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See more in Mass Transit or under Transportation. September, 2010.