Back in May Auckland Transport announced that they were going to trial three different bus shelter designs on Symonds St. They are seeking public feedback on them with the intention of eventually rolling out the winning design across the region.
Yesterday I decided to go and check out the three options and all three shelters I liked and didn’t like about them.
This was my favourite when AT initially announced the designs and one of the reasons is it was quite different to what we’re used to seeing. Some commented in the original post that the wood would make it feel too dark and be less safe compared to the greater use of glass in the other designs. Personally I really like the addition of the wood including the structural support with the engraved Pohutukawa motif.
I guess the only concern was the size of the glass on the front of the shelter for those times when the rain is coming in sideways.
This one is perhaps a bit of a dark horse. I thought it looked bland and boring in the initial images but it turns out it’s a case of actually having to see it in the flesh. Even the photo below doesn’t really highlight it that well. The real design feature is above the shelter with the roof having quite a retro feel to it, curved at the front and with fins out the back. The front kind of reminded me of an old tram. The shelter itself has a heap of seating and one big glass panel for those really rainy days which is good.
The biggest issue with this shelter is how well the retro design holds up over time. It’s cool now but will it still be in 10 years-time? (Although I guess you could say this about all the designs). Because it’s hard to get the feeling for the shelter in this image the one below is the render from the AT Website which shows the design feature a bit better.
In our poll Shelter C was the second most popular design due to it appearing to have more design to it than B and more glass than A. In real life I didn’t really like the design that much and it seemed a bit busy and not that inviting. Perhaps it is too similar to what we’re used to seeing. Also like Shelter A it only had two small glass walls on the front to protect from heavy rain. One aspect I really did like though was the panel at the end of the shelter which was used to give more information. In particular I liked how it laid out the areas the buses that use the stop serve.
Just for a comparison, here’s what the old shelters look like.
After viewing them in person I still think that Shelter A is my favourite, Shelter B lifted itself to my second favourite leaving Shelter C as my least favourite.
But not all bus stops are created equal, most will be much smaller than the ones above while stops in Neighbourhoods are likely to be larger. The images below are the renders for the other versions of each design.
A trial of these shelters is being installed at the Silverdale Park & Ride, presumably until the full station is built.
I think Shelter B carries the design idea through the best while Shelter A seems pretty standard with what we have now.
What’s interesting about all three of these stops is they bend around the corner which makes them quite prominent which would definitely help in making bus stops more visible and a key part of Auckland’s future.
Again my favourite is Shelter A which seems much more prominent and interesting, it even looks like it has some cycle racks behind the centrepiece part. Like in the original pictures Shelter B is difficult to see so hard to know exactly what it would look like in person. Shelter C just doesn’t look like it scales as well on the large stops.
Of course all of this is just my opinion and everyone can have a say so make sure you do. The AT website has more info including some more detailed info about each design. The consultation is open till 22 August and I would recommend going and having a look if you can, as it certainly changed my thoughts about Shelter B.
I ran a poll when the trial was announced and I’m going to repeat it again to see if anyone’s views have changed.