For part one of ioby’s “Trick Out My Trip” series, here are some ideas about how to trick out your bus stop from Perry Sponseller, Jason Johns, Old City Millwork Memphis, Aurash Kharwazad, DO Tank, Archimania, Omaha by Design, Paige Johnson, Creative Alliance, Baltimore Southeast Community Development Corporation, Red Swing Project, and more.
1. Turn Your Bus Stop Into a Playground.
Paige Johnson has chronicled the years-long rich history of swingsets as urban interventions, from subway swings to bus stop swings, to swings in parking spaces and swings under trestles, on Play Scapes. The Red Swing Project, which started in Austin, Texas, in 2007, has a DIY guide to creating your own playground.
2. Turn Signs Into Seating.
Baltimore got an extremely literal bus stop sign that reads BUS in 14-foot tall letters after the Southeast Community Development Corporation and Creative Alliance hosted a design workshop for residents of the Highlandtown neighborhood. They wanted to make a statement for their arts and cultural district and transform the dull experience of waiting for the bus into something entertaining, playful, and interactive.
3. Make Furniture Any Volunteer Can Assemble.
When Memphis entrepreneurs and urbanists decided to temporarily reopen the Tennessee Brewery in April 2014, they needed to work quickly and on a limited budget. Jason Johns at the Old City Millwork created a design for furniture made from pallets that volunteers could assemble.
They designed something comfortable for the masses that would encourage hanging out. The sides are made from outdoor grade plywood and the seat and back are made from 2’x4’s. They used a CNC machine to cut the chairs so they could get eight from a single sheet of plywood, and pre-drill holes.
4. Bring the Comforts of Home Into the Public.
In Los Angeles, the Department of Transportation transformed parking spaces near bus stops into seating areas. In Omaha, a design firm created a comfortable living room inside a bus shelter on Omaha Gives! Day organized by the Omaha Community Foundation.
Check out ioby’s entire Trick Out My Trip series:
- How to trick out your bus stop
- How to turn a bus stop into art
- How to apply plaza principles to transit hubs
- How to make transit hubs safer for everyone using intersection repair
- How to create a network of “sharing stops” for expanded transit access
Check out these related Shareable articles & resources:
- Milwaukee transformed a parking crater into a thriving community space
- How to welcome and engage people in community spaces
- How to co-create a shared space in 5 steps
This article was originally published on September 24, 2014, and was updated on December 21, 2022.