Why not an ibus stop in Ottawa?

Although Ottawa is most probably far from being ready to adopt this caliber of design in the city (still I keep hoping for a miracle), it would be neat to have bus stops like the new ones that will be installed in Florence, Italy next year. Called EyeStops and designed by the SENSEable City Lab of MIT, this 21st century concept bus stop interacts with passengers the same way an iphone can.

The solar-powered booths will be outfitted with touchscreen displays that will show necessary information such as bus schedules and the shortest route for a certain destination. People will also be able browse the web, check the air quality, see the exact location of their desired bus, interact with a mobile device and use the booth as a community message board to post announcements and ads using the next generation of epaper.

A bus pole version of the EyeStop with similar mapping, info, and communication tools will also be introduced in 2010. But wait, there’s more! It glows brighter as the next bus nears the stop to signal pedestrians from afar. How cool is that?

About 200 bus shelters and 1,000 bus poles are expected to be installed. What I love about these, besides the fact that they are awesome, is that they are really in tune with the times and how people live today in the 21st century. Of course, those opposed to change will not like this, but it's only a matter of time before items such as these become common practice.


  1. But it's ugly, at least in the contexts shown.

    In a modern district, like the Carleton University campus or something like that, it would be fine. But it just looks cheap and plastic in older areas.

    It's an interesting set of functions though. Perhaps the same features could be integrated into a form that doesn't clash with the surroundings.

  2. I think the good people of Florence know a lot more about older buildings than we do. And they seem to have no concerns about the installations.

  3. RTWAP is right: it is ugly. That's obviously not a problem in a crumbling dump of a city like Florence, a place that has little interest in preserving its heritage. But in Ottawa we do care about the look of our city. Imagine what these tacky plastic poles would do to the spectacular sightlines on Merivale Road!


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