There is nothing remotely comfortable or relaxing about queuing for a bus in Hong Kong. While ordered lines are one thing that our city’s commuters do abide by, our bus shelters are often too small to cover the many travelers waiting for their ride home or to work.
Occasionally, queues are messy and disorganized, making everyone unsure of who is at the beginning of the line or the end. Unlike our sophisticated MTR system, we are often unaware of when the next bus is to arrive, only given a loose time frame from its planned schedule. Thankfully, a Hong Kong designer named Jimmy Lam
recognised this problem and came up with HAVEN
, a concept for a next generation bus shelter.
HAVEN was created during Lam’s time at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Masters of Design course, from which he just recently graduated. It is from his own daily experiences traveling around our city that inspired the idea of HAVEN.
“In a city as small and condensed as Hong Kong, the accuracy of and availability of transportation methods is paramount. The bus is one of the most essential public transportation in many cities in the world, and Hong Kong is no exception. Enriching the transportation experience for citizens is a goal set by many designers around the world,” explained Lam.
Created mainly for the city’s double decker buses, Lam’s goal was to provide a solution to our bus queuing woes and to fully modulate the transit experience of catching the bus in Hong Kong.
“Its exterior design aims to reduce space consumption within the narrow roads and streets. In terms of technological advancements, HAVEN implements LED floored panels, where an electronic queue guiding system helps commuters queue in separate segments, avoiding long lines that block pedestrian paths. All electronic implementations are powered by solar panels, making HAVEN a self-sustainable bus shelter that not only benefits the commuters transit experience, but also the environment,” Lam told Localiiz.
Lam extensively researched bus shelters from all over the world and none of them have implemented a LED system like HAVEN. This revolutionary feature would truly be a blessing for all commuters in the city.
The sustainability of HAVEN is another factor that puts the concept way ahead of what currently exists. Hong Kong and its citizens are constantly looking for ways to improve the sustainability of its infrastructure, leading to an overall more efficient city. “Good design should always be long lasting and self-sustaining. And I think HAVEN does that by not just offering a roof for people to stand below, it does more than what a bus shelter should do in an environmentally friendly way,” Lam explained. Its use of solar energy would bring Hong Kong’s bus system closer to a fully eco-friendly future.
Whilst the concept caters specifically to the dimensions and aesthetics of Hong Kong’s double decker buses, Lam believes that this is a small factor since it can cater to all bus designs. “There's a segment of the design where people get off, and there's a segment where people wait. It's designed that way so that commuter and pedestrian circulations could be more efficient,” Lam said.
Lam also sees the likelihood of HAVEN’s concept being modified slightly to fit other methods of transportation, such as taxis.
With a sleek, futuristic and minimalistic design, HAVEN would fit our city's modern architecture and maybe even complement it. Its LED lights would organise the chaotic atmosphere of queuing during rush hour and lend a glow to Hong Kong's famous neon light atmosphere. Lam has yet to pitch the concept to any organisations, but with any luck, one of our readers is part of the business and interested to take this concept to the streets.
Check out the rest of Lam's work on his Behance page
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