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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Good design elements from Vancouver’s bus stops

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oliver_busstopmotion.jpgPhoto courtesy of Brandon Yan

This column highlights a few good design elements from bus stops in Vancouver to start the discussion on how to build a decent bus stop. It shouldn’t really be that difficult, but from my experience we still have a long way to go.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>calimente_bayawning.jpg1) <!–[endif]–>Awnings, awnings, awnings. Oh so important when you consider that Vancouver has at least 166 days per year when there is some form of precipitation in the air. The best in the city is provided by the Bay on W. Georgia between Seymour and Granville. It covers the entire block from the edge of the building right to the curb. Could the city provide incentives for more of these to be built?


<!–[if !supportLists]–>calimente_sightlines.jpg2) <!–[endif]–>Clear sightlines for oncoming buses. Every bus stop should be like this one on West Pender. From a seated position you can see oncoming buses at least a block away. Too many stops have advertising on the left side panel, meaning that you have to keep poking your head out like a cuckoo clock to see the next bus arrive.


<!–[if !supportLists]–>calimente_busschedule.jpg3) <!–[endif]–>Bus schedules at every stop. Even if the bus arrives late, the schedule at least tells you how frequently the bus should be appearing. TransLink apparently has trouble with people vandalizing these bus schedule “collars” that are attached to poles. Is there a better, more vandal-resistant solution? How about stickers with schedules on them?


<!–[if !supportLists]–>calimente_harbourcentre.jpg4) <!–[endif]–>Integration with buildings. Harbour Centre on West Hastings has (presumably unintentionally) created a warm and comfortable waiting area for bus riders. Tall glass windows allow one to easily see arriving buses, and the building is open late thanks to the revolving restaurant on top. More transit office buildings friendly to transit riders would be a welcome addition to our city.

<!–[if !supportLists]–>calimente_starbucks.jpg5) <!–[endif]–>Coffee. The Starbucks at Granville and W. Broadway gets a great deal of business from patrons waiting inside, coffee in hand, for their bus to arrive. Why not a bus shelter + coffee shop combo? Vancouver could be the first!


John Calimente is the president of Rail Integrated Developments. He supports great mass transit, cycling, walking, transit integrated developments, and non-automobile urban life. Click here to follow TheTransitFan on Twitter.