Now an inescapable symbol of the urban landscape, the advertising bus shelter has seen a number of transformations since its creation in 1964. Over the years, it has been refined with new additions like phone kiosks, bus transit information screens and even integrated public toilets. These developments foretold what would become, in 2016, the bus shelter of the future, developed by JCDecaux and designed by Marc Aurel.
Sustainable bus shelters
The new design is modern and environmentally-friendly, with sleek, soft-flowing lines and a roof inspired by the leaves of the plane trees so emblematic of the French capital, and shaped like the islands in the river Seine. Developed primarily by French SMEs and certified “Origine France Garantie” (made in France), these next-generation bus shelters offer a streamlined and contemporary structure that blends perfectly with the capital city's exceptional urban environment.
The bus shelters are operated in accordance with sustainable development principles and are aligned with the Climate Plan of the City of Paris. They consume 35% less energy than their predecessors thanks to the use of more efficient lighting technologies and activity-responsive light intensity for advertising and lighting systems. In addition, 100 bus shelters have been fitted with solar panels to reduce energy consumption, and 50 roofs have plant cover. Upkeep of the bus shelters by JCDecaux's teams does not tap into the drinking water system, instead they use recovered rainwater, 17% of which is captured by an innovative system installed on the roofs of buildings.
Smart bus shelters
The new bus shelter is also, and most importantly, smart and interactive, offering an unprecedented array of innovative services accessible to all, from people waiting for the bus to pedestrians and visitors.
Besides information on the next bus arrivals, the bus shelters provide city and neighbourhood maps, real-time traffic information and USB ports to charge mobile phones. A voice announcement system for the visually-impaired is also integrated. Seating is wider and more plentiful, and roofs are larger to provide comfort for the maximum number of people. Signal masts were designed to be visible from afar by pedestrians, both day and night. They provide a range of information, such as the stop name, line number, direction and waiting time.
The renovation of the bus shelters was also an opportunity for JCDecaux to adapt to rapidly-evolving usage patterns and to speed up the development of the smart city. One hundred large-format 32-inch digital displays were also installed on some of the bus shelters. These interactive touch screens offer useful everyday information with practical and universally-accessible content, providing both local and visiting passengers with innovative, powerful and high-quality services.
Equipped with connected services, this new structure marks a transformation of bus shelters in the urban landscape, with an overriding focus on creating new public spaces that balance heritage and modernity while complementing the elegance of Paris.