Paris Tests Out Snazzy New 'Bus Stop of the Future'

© RATP. The 'Station Diderot' bus stop in Paris.

Even for the biggest advocate of public transportation, waiting for the bus can be a drag. But a snazzy new bus stop being tested out in Paris promises to make that dead time productive, and even fun.

The French capital's main transit agency, RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), has set up what it's calling the "bus stop of the future" outside the busy Gare de Lyon train station for a five-month trial period, The Atlantic Cities reported earlier this month.

Free WiFi, A Coffee Kiosk, And Electric Bikes
Described as a "place of social innovation" by the trend blog PSFK, the "Station Diderot" transit shelter offers riders a variety of services, from a book lending library and an electric-bike rental station to phone charging outlets, free WiFi, and a snack and coffee kiosk.

© Aurel Studio. Design details of the stop include a book lending library (R).

Bar-style tables built around existing trees encourage socializing while extensive (and interactive) sources of neighborhood information help idle passengers plan out the rest of their journey. Created by urban designer Marc Aurel, the stop looks pretty sleek too.

Modular And Customizable
"It has been designed to blend into the urban environment, with a 'transport facade' and an 'urban facade' with each side catering for their respective user," writes the U.K.-based trade publication Passenger Transport. "The stop is completely modular and its size can therefore be tailored to specific locations."

It's not the first time Paris has tried to improve the experience of waiting for the bus. In December 2010, the city teamed up with IKEA to spiff up 12 heavily trafficked stops with sofas, shelves, lighting, and decoration.

Tags: Buses | Cities | France | Paris | Public Transportation | Urban Life

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