We probably don’t deserve what could be the coolest bus stop in the world.
Built last year in August, this high-tech bus stop in Singapore has free Wi-Fi, charging ports, interactive display maps, a solar panelled roof, and even a swing.
But its bookshelf, meant to be stocked with books for swapping with others, was empty when Mashable visited.
The bus stop is a project in the west of Singapore, and is being trialed by the government as part of a broader technology testbed.
Project Bus Stop’s interactive wall displays weather information, local news headlines and bus arrival times.
Commuters who missed the books that have been put on the book exchange can borrow e-books from the interactive wall, which links to the National Library Board’s e-book portal.
The multi-government agency collaboration behind the bus stop include the city’s urban planners, transport regulators, and the national parks regulator. They plan to collect data to determine which of its features to potentially replicate on other bus stops.
The bus stop was conceived by DP Architects, a local firm which wanted to “re-imagine” daily commutes, and how people “transit, interact and socialise” in public space, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The firm believes that bus stops can help “make waiting fun.”
Some residents we spoke to haven’t been as taken with all of the prototype’s features.
Says Santhi, a resident who lives in the area and uses the bus stop about once a week:
When asked whether she usually notices the smart bus stop’s features:
Jolyne Tan, a 23-year-old strategic communications intern who lives in the district, said that she doesn’t really see people interacting with the smart bus stop. “It’s just for show, I don’t really see people interacting with it,” she said.
The most popular feature has been the phone charging station. Khoong Hock Yun, assistant CEO of the Infocomm Media Development Authority, told CityLab: “Cell phone batteries are never [recharged] fast enough for us … people always need chargers.”
“I think the [public charging stations] are the most useful feature,” Tan added.
“The books are the most useless. It’s unrealistic to assume people will start reading a book with a bus arriving in five to 10 minutes.”